Kia Meng (left) and Mew Yuen led NUS IT’s first ‘agile’ project to streamline the requisition process for lab materials throughout the University
Chew Kia Meng
Senior Associate Director
Kwong Mew Yuen
Senior Manager

OE heroes: Real-time benefits with LMPRS

At a research intensive university like NUS, the management and purchase of lab materials is fundamental to the work productivity of research staff throughout campus. 

In line with NUS’ culture of continuous improvement, a Laboratory Materials Management System (LMMS) was built and implemented in 2018 to manage the inventory of regulated lab materials and hazardous chemicals effectively. To streamline the buying process for these materials and chemicals, with real-time inventory checks available, a new Laboratory Materials Purchase Requisition System (LMPRS) was developed and integrated with the LMMS in 2019. With the LMPRS allowing an intuitive search of the chemicals available in the LMMS database during the requisition process, principal investigators, research and lab administrators throughout campus can purchase their lab materials more efficiently under one integrated platform.

Chew Kia Meng, Initiative Owner (IO) and Senior Associate Director from NUS IT shared that the LMPRS is an enterprise system that is user-friendly and simplifies the purchasing process. The team adopted the ‘agile’ project management methodology which follows an organised, yet reactive application of knowledge and techniques to meet user requirements amid potentially changing circumstances. Even so, the project team faced multiple challenges, such as managing the different requirements of user groups across the various departments in NUS Engineering, NUS Science, NUS Medicine and others, meeting regulations and working with tight timelines to deliver the system in three months.

Kwong Mew Yuen, Co-IO and Senior Manager at NUS IT explained that clearly defining roles and responsibilities from the get-go, as well as good teamwork, helped the project to get off the ground smoothly and stay on track. “The LMPRS is in sync with the LMMS and offers real-time regulatory checks with the latter on inventory levels of lab materials and hazardous chemicals,” said Mew Yuen. “This provides convenience and time-savings to staff on the ground for the entire University.”   

With support from the management and staff’s active participation as user representatives in gathering requirements and acceptance tests, the first phase of the project successfully addressed the three risks of unauthorised regulated material buys, inaccurate chemical inventory and excessive legal chemical inventory levels.

Kia Meng and Mew Yuen concurred that regular check-ins with team members, good planning and tracking of daily activities helped to maintain momentum of the project.

Future phases to enhance the LMMS and LMPRS will include the procurement and inventory management of biological agents, radioisotope agents and regulated equipment.


The LMPRS team (from left): Joel Swee Dao Wen, Senior Safety and Health Manager (OSHE); Jayavani Karuppasamy, Safety and Health Manager (OSHE); Kwong Mew Yuen, Senior Manager (NUS IT); Michelle Liu, Manager (CPO); Lim Eng Xiong, Manager (CPO)

OE is a strategic initiative undertaken by the University to develop best practices for an efficient and world-class administration to better support NUS’ Vision and Mission. It aims to bring about improved work processes and policies as well as create opportunities for talent development and growth.


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