This is part of a continuing series on how the Agency for Science,
Technology and Research (A*STAR) is constantly working to support researchers
in Singapore and enhance the research ecosystem.
to read the first instalment on the Federated Identity Management System or
FIMs which simplifies access to supercomputing resources for end-users at the
Institutes of Higher Learning in Singapore.
A*STAR has developed its first integrated chemical inventory
management and procurement system in the form of the electronic Chemicals,
Biomaterials, Gases Management System (eCBMS). The system was developed to
address the various issues associated with chemical, biomaterials and gas
The eCBMS has helped to reduce paperwork associated with the
procurement of chemicals, biomaterials and gases, while enhancing legal
The system, which is integrated with the electronic Purchase
Request System (ePRS), has helped to raise the productivity by automating
inventory updates and monthly reporting, providing a clear overview of the
availability of chemicals within the institute and reducing the turnaround time
for purchases of controlled chemicals.
All these features reduce the time needed for the
procurement process, thereby freeing up time for researchers to focus on their
This system reduces the time required by researchers to
manually maintain and update their inventory, and allows better legal compliance.
It has been estimated that CGMS will help to reduce more
than 16,000 man hours annually, that would otherwise have been spent on
inventory updates, maintenance and generating monthly inventory lists necessary
for legal compliance.
The automated interface highlights the legal requirements
for the controlled chemicals and the permissible allowable limits for such
chemicals and displays the requirements for the purchase of such chemicals,
thereby reducing the turnaround time necessary for the purchase of controlled
chemicals, while enhancing and strengthening legal compliance of the institute.
The eCBMS has been rolled out to Research Institures (RIs)
and Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC)
entities, allowing the RIs to enjoy time and cost savings, raising the
productivity of researchers and administrators as well as strengthening the
legal compliance for the purchase and storage of chemicals.
The new integrated e-purchase and inventory system has
helped to optimise the usage of resources and manpower. The advantages and
savings of this innovation could potentially be multiplied to several-fold as
IT has plans to deploy the integrated system to other RIs in future. Apart from the tangible savings, one of the
most important non-tangible benefits is the mitigation of risks to reputational
damage due to regulatory/ legal non-compliance.