New Facility Management Tools & Project Dashboard

April 26, 2012 | Posted by Team in New Feature |

Over the past couple months, we’ve been looking for new ways to help providers manage their services on Science Exchange.  Our users have sent us some amazing suggestions, and we’re now proud to announce the launch of our biggest product update yet: Facility Management Tools.

We’ve created a host of free features, helping providers add new services, track ongoing projects, or report on past projects. Read below for more details.

Facility Management Tools

Through Science Exchange, providers can access a free Facility Management page, where they can track and monitor their services.

Providers can now add new services or instruments they would like to provide through their institution. They can also set price groups for internal, external, and for-profit requesters of those services. To use any of these features, providers can go to their Dashboard, and choose one of their facilities on the left.

To learn more about the Management features, see the tutorial at: scienceexchange.com/how_it_works#administration

Publication Tracking

We’ve also added new tools to help providers track the impact of their services in publications. From the Publications Tab on a Facility Management page, providers can now add papers that requesters have published using their services.

Project Reports

To help providers better monitor the progress of past projects, we’ve built a suite of reporting tools. Through the Reports Tab on a Facility Management page, providers can now see all revenue generated from individual projects, requesters, or price groups.

Send Us Your Feedback!

We’d love to hear what you think of the new management tools. If you have any questions or concerns, please send us an email at [email protected].  You can also find helpful tips in our Help Center at: scienceexchange.com/help

Guest post: Making the most of peer networking

March 8, 2012 | Posted by Guest in Outsourcing Trends |

This is a guest post by Susanna Perkins, Director of Research Cores & Operations in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at University of Massachusetts Medical School (full bio below). 

Seven years ago, I was hired by the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) to centralize their core facilities management from an operations perspective.  We have 43 core facilities, one of the largest centralized institutional organizations.  Prior to centralization, each was managed from within their home department.  Funding for these facilities flows through the institution, but answering simple questions about how the money was being used was difficult when it involved a dozen different accountants and administrators.  Now that everything is under one organization, we are able to produce quarterly reports that include all the financials, usage, grant support, personnel, etc….  It presents an overview of the entire system, and is also a tool to help us manage across facilities.  For example, if one facility is exceeding revenue projections and will not require as much institutional support, we can offset a less profitable facility with the excess funds.  Centralization allows the institution to utilize our Core funding where it is needed the most – toggling the funding throughout the year as the revenue & expense trends solidify.

I came from the private sector, doing financials for a company producing computer disk drives.  My skillset was an excellent match for this position, which is essentially overseeing the operations of 43 small nonprofit companies.  Because many of the people within core facilities come from a science background, I can assist by bringing business expertise on budgeting, marketing, web sites, and other accounting activities that many science-based Core Directors are more than willing to offload.  This allows the Directors to focus their attention and resources on their technical areas of expertise.

Inevitably, in financially challenging times, my job also entails providing recommendations for the prioritization of funding for facilities.  The Vice Provost for Research makes the difficult decisions, which are weighted by more factors than just profitability numbers, but my work directly informs those decisions.

Read the rest of this entry »

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