NSLS-II Hosts Acquisition Strategy Workshop for Science Projects

The NSLS-II project office recently hosted an acquisition strategy workshop to learn from the experience of other Labs in building large, technical science projects.

On June 20-21, approximately 35 attendees heard from project managers, engineers, scientists and other staff who worked on DOE projects completed in the last 10 years or currently underway including the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory's Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) at Oak Ridge National Lab. Brookhaven's Mike Schaeffer and Mike Anerella made presentations on the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) and RHIC projects.

Workshop attendees enlarge

Attendees of the Acquisition Strategy Workshop (click image to download hi-res version)

The workshop was designed to help managers of other large projects, such as the NSLS-II, decide how to structure their procurement plans, based on lessons learned elsewhere from past and ongoing projects.

Dierker, Martin Fallier of the NSLS-II project team and David Dale from Procurement and Property Management conceived of the workshop several months earlier, and pulled it together quickly with support from Laura Miller and Lydia Rogers of the NSLS-II project office. Dan Lehman of DOE's Office of Project Assessment, and Ed Temple, who formerly worked in the same capacity, also supported and attended the workshop.

"This is a very unique time in the construction markets," Fallier said. "There is instability in material costs, construction costs are rising sharply and contractors are reluctant to sign standard fixed price contracts. The standard paradigm may not work, and contracting and procurement strategies will require creativity to be successful in this environment."

David Dale added that "the lessons learned from this workshop were invaluable for us to strengthen our acquisition approach to the project and be proactive in our planning efforts. Having dedicated procurement professionals established during the beginning of the project will enable the project team to better control cost and schedule requirements in the project's early phases."

Fallier said the workshop was a valuable resource for the NSLS-II team in developing their procurement strategy.

"There was a genuine willingness to share experiences both good and bad even though these Labs are at some level competing for project funding," he said. "It was very refreshing and should help other sites develop successful procurement strategies as well as NSLS II."


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