Behind the more than 100 researchers at the Stem Cell Institute is a man who works relentlessly to keep the place running smoothly—Jesse Browers. As the Laboratory Services Coordinator, Jesse has almost as many responsibilities as there are chromosomes in a human cell. From fixing equipment to replacing gas cylinders to solving IT issues and ordering supplies, he’s a laboratory operations army of one.
So how is Jesse able to get all his various work done over the course of a day? A large part of the answer, he says, is U Market.
When Jesse first started working at The Stem Cell Institute in 2003, technology was not his friend. Computers would constantly conk out, online applications were unreliable and supply purchasing was a pain.
“People used to hand me a bunch of papers with products they needed and it would take me half the day just to get it ordered,” Jesse says.
But as technology advanced and U Market was implemented, Jesse found that it was taking less and less time to do specific parts of his job. This rang especially true when it came to supply purchasing. He says the features of U Market—such as user-created carts and one-stop shopping—meant he could do the supply ordering for the same amount of people in a fraction of the time.
“The electronic invoicing feature alone is huge for me,” Jesse says. “I just finished processing a few invoices manually and it took a large chunk of my time.”
The best part, Jesse explains, is that each year U Market is improving. “U Market is becoming my one main ordering tool. More good vendors keep getting added, which makes ordering through another website obsolete.” Many of the improvements can be attributed to Jesse. He and other veteran shoppers from around the University participate in the U Market User Group (UMUG). UMUG meets quarterly and offers suggestions on how U Market can be better tailored to make their jobs easier.
The efficiencies added to the ordering portion of Jesse’s job allow him to be proactive about his other duties. He’s able to fix problems before they start, freeing researchers to spend their time on what they do best—research.
“The researchers don’t have to think about it, they don’t have to worry about the operations side of things,” Jesse says. “The benefits of U Market—electronic invoicing, quick delivery—makes everything so much easier and that opens up time for what’s important, what our department’s true mission is.”
As for what keeps Jesse going day in and day out, he says it’s the people. Whether it’s the diversity of researchers at the institute or U Market’s customer support team who “never scoff or laugh at my random questions,” they fuel his mission. They inspire him to keep the lab equipment functioning, the supplies stocked and to assist The Stem Cell Institute in solving some of biology’s most complex and difficult problems.