Annual fiscal year close deadlines have arrived. Staff experienced with Berkeley Lab financial reports and budgets are already aware the DOE follows a federal fiscal year schedule which begins on October 1 of one calendar year through September 30 of the next. The IT Division works closely with OCFO Procurement and Property Management to ensure that IT-related purchases are completed in a timely manner, align with Lab policy requirements, and are tracked and managed from acquisition to retirement.
From now through the fiscal year-end period, researchers, business managers, group administrators, and new staff alike may need to purchase IT and telework equipment. It’s important for staff to be aware of the supply chain issues affecting the technology manufacturing industry while also making note of key fiscal deadlines. Global material shortages, trade disruptions, and transportation constraints continue to impact procurement of IT equipment. In addition, holding IT stock inventory is not always possible or practical for most of the Lab or for vendors and distributors, especially given the present inflation of consumer goods. Longer processing and delivery times should be expected when ordering new items in addition to prolonged delays in availability or potential cancellation of backordered or out-of-stock items. Partner with the IT Division and the OCFO to keep Lab operations running smoothly and stay on top of supply management and demand.
“The day when the scientist, no matter how devoted, may make significant progress alone and without material help is past. This fact is most self-evident in our work.”– E.O. Lawrence
In order to reduce downtime, emergency failures, and delays in processing time, organizations at the Lab should keep the following points in mind when preparing a budget, onboarding new staff, or assessing operational equipment needs:
- Plan far in advance (3-6 months) to schedule routine end-of-life replacement.
- Explore internal options for resource sharing, such as allowing common access to large network printers across Divisions, groups, or labs and splitting the cost of maintenance.
- Utilize the IT Repurposed Computer Program to order an in stock refurbished system.
- Check eBuy catalog suppliers or work directly with a Lab procurement specialist for in-stock, readily available, and cost-effective goods and alternatives.
- Computers may not be purchased on Division PCards or reimbursed.
- If a computer needs to be drop-shipped, arrangements will be made for asset tagging.
IT Procurement Process
The table below describes a high-level summary of the general process, steps, and estimated time to complete an IT procurement request from start to finish. This information is provided for educational and reference purposes only and is not intended as a guarantee of procedure.
|Process Step||Estimated Time (in average business calendar days)|
|The employee becomes familiar with Lab policies for Acquisition of Goods and Services (RPM). A budget and project ID is identified. The employee receives approval from an authorized Division delegate and/or supervisor to make a purchase.||Varies – See Procurement & Property Department’s Acquisition Planning page.|
|Computers: The employee reviews the Request a Computer page and submits the appropriate form to request a new or repurposed Lab Standard system or a Custom Computer. IT reviews the request and may offer suggestions or initiate fulfillment based on current availability. Note: Some Divisions like ESnet, CRD, and NERSC have internal IT groups who provide workstations.|
Procurement of Dell laptops is delayed 30-60 days due to a global chip shortage and other supply chain issues. IT may need to issue desktops with wi-fi, previously used systems, or brands outside of Lab standards to new employees. Mid-tier systems may be delayed 30-60 days but some inventory exists. Custom orders may take up to 100 days. Note that Apple will not commit to any ETA on deliveries for any devices due to the current supply chain issues. Please plan accordingly.
Other IT supplies: Visit the OCFO Make a Purchase page for further instructions and assistance. eBuy is the Lab’s online ordering solution for common office, lab and computer supplies. Visit telework.lbl.gov for more IT guidance.
|Response Time: 2-4 weeks|
Expected processing/delivery times normally fall within these windows and begin once the computer is both requested and available:
|OCFO Procurement reviews the purchase request and budget against Lab policy and requirements. The standard process for approval is followed and the overall cycle time is dependent on the acquisition complexity, total value, lead-time, supplier availability, and other variables such as missing or inaccurate documentation.||The complexity of the acquisition drives the cycle times. Understand the Lab’s Acquisition Planning process prior to making a purchase.|
|The request is sent to the supplier and an email confirmation is sent to the requestor when the order is received. A separate shipping message is sent when the item(s) are on the way.||Typically 1-2 weeks but depends on the supply chain.|
|The order is shipped to the Berkeley Lab Central Receiving facility where items are processed, tagged if needed, and then sent to the final Lab location indicated in the order. Items in the telework catalog may be shipped to a remote address.||5-7 days|
Key Procurement Dates
Due to the higher volume of requisitions at fiscal year-end, procurement specialists may need additional time to process requests. Refer to the table below for 2022 cutoff dates for all ePro and eBuy requisitions.
|8/29/2022||ePro Requisitions >$25K and < $250K|
|9/9/2022||ePro Reqs <$25k|
|9/21/2022||eBuy transactions; last day to dispatch POs|
Note: Awards >$250K may take 3 to 6 months or more to process, depending on complexity so there isn’t a cutoff date noted above.
IT User Support provides workstation management and computer support programs to meet user needs. Standardized hardware, software, and computer security configurations provide a cost effective and efficient way to deploy and maintain computing devices to Lab employees. The following services are included for all new and re-purposed workstation requests:
- Help selecting the ideal computer suitable for your work and budget
- Procurement of hardware and accessories
- Enrollment of computers in the Lab’s management systems
- Installation of Berkeley Lab recommended software
- Delivery, installation, and configuration based on needs
- Transfer data, settings, and applications from a previous workstation
- Retrieval and salvage of a previous workstation
|Construction||Laura Crosby, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Research and Development||Michelle Garcia, email@example.com|
|Services||Laura Sanders, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Goods (>$25K) and Technology||Diane Hutchinson, email@example.com|
|Goods (<$25K)||Vincent Cheung, firstname.lastname@example.org|