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SLAC Acquisition Management Systems Group Organizes for the Future

(Photo - Larry Dardzinski)
SLAC Acquisition Management Systems Director Larry Dardzinski. (Photo by Nicholas Bock.)

SLAC's new Director of Acquisition Management Systems Larry Dardzinski knows his way around federal government contracts and acquisitions. He also knows the private sector tools of the trade. After 20 years as an Air Force contracting officer, Dardzinski spent a decade directing corporate procurement efforts in the financial industry.

"His blend of experience in both the government and private sectors will be very helpful as we continue to build a world-class procurement and financial organization," said SLAC Chief Financial Officer Susan Calandra. Dardzinski joined the SLAC Office of the CFO in October, taking responsibility for SLAC shipping and receiving, property control, "collaborative acquisitions"—essentially, incoming research money—as well as initiatives to transfer technology developed at SLAC into private industry. "Larry is enthusiastic about meeting his new staff and partnering with all of us here at the lab in supporting great science," Calandra said.

Several changes in key AMS positions have recently occurred. Sherrie Remington was promoted into the procurement operations manager position. Remington is responsible for a staff of 21 procurement professionals managing complex supply, service and construction requirements. She is, in turn, supported by three key team lead managers. The team leads are responsible for customer service delivery and will manage the daily purchasing and contract management activities of the group. Gordon Scrimger is leading the commodities team. AMS has ongoing staffing actions targeted at filling key services and construction/projects team lead positions by the end of 2009.

Alan Kong was recently assigned as the procurement operations support manager. Alan's team will focus on process improvement; education and training; e-procurement (Peoplesoft) improvements; and compliance. This key role will better position AMS to meet customer service expectations while driving the appropriate control and compliance environment required by our stakeholders.

Developing strong first line managers focused on service delivery and compliance will allow AMS to maintain the correct balance between customer service and compliance, Dardzinki said. "Departments will see reduced procurement lead times and an improved understanding of procurement roles and responsibilities. Our new organizational structure will allow us to better focus on strategic sourcing opportunities and take advantage of innovative contract pricing techniques to drive value from our supply base and reduce contract costs. Our stakeholders will see the application of risk mitigation strategies and improved control and compliance processes embedded in SLAC's daily practices and evidenced in our contracts and contract management practices."

Dardzinski was busy during his first few months at the lab, conducting hour-long meetings with all AMS staff members. He is now meeting with key lab customers and stakeholders to learn first-hand about their concerns and desired service delivery improvements. He noted that much change has already occurred within the AMS group and it may be best to allow some time for processes to mature.

"Both my staff and our customers need to get good at these new processes and the basics of contracting," Dardzinski said. "Let's focus on service delivery, let things settle, and then do some fine tuning as required." 

—from the Office of the Chief Finance Officer
SLAC Today, December 4, 2009