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Chemical Tracking Solution Improves Risk Management at Large University


With an estimated quantity of chemical containers between 80,000 and 100,000, the Department of Risk Management and Safety at a university of over 400 buildings needed to implement a tracking system to monitor and report all chemical containers on campus at any given time — and with zero margin for error.

Requests for annual sales reports from its major suppliers took too long to obtain and combine, and in the end, the assembled data did not show the actual state of their onsite inventory. What could the university do to provide accurate risk management and campus-wide safety for staff and students?


VWRCATALYST provided a team that used state-of-the-art inventory management and tracking software to assemble full-spectrum data on all chemicals and chemical waste on campus. This team, consisting of ten workers with laboratory and/or hazardous waste experience, was led by a scientist with a Ph.D. and managed by one of our Lean Six Sigma-trained Business Process Consultants.


The university now has an effective, sustainable tracking system in place to comply with the comprehensive federal security regulations established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards. The VWRCATALYST project was completed ahead of schedule, under budget, and with minimal disruption to the staff and students.

Metrics Estimated Actual
Project Duration 22 Weeks 12.8 Weeks (64 Work Days)
Budget Confidential 34.1% Under Budget
Labs/Rooms Inventoried 400 444
Containers Handled 80,000–100,000 103,257
Containers Barcoded Unknown 34,400

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Success Story


A large university was struggling to effectively monitor and report all of the chemical containers across its 400-building campus.


VWRCATALYST provided a team with state-of-the-art technology to gather and manage data on all chemicals and chemical waste on campus.


VWR helped the university inventory 444 labs ahead of time and under budget, with minimal disruption of the university’s educational operations.

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Are your scientific resources being wasted on non-research activities? VWRCATALYST has the skills, knowledge, and experience to support productivity improvement at your organization. For more information, visit or contact us at

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