October 27, 2015

MolPort API version 3.0 release

    Image result for molecules

We upgraded MolPort API to version 3.0.

We have made these changes (or visit API History of Changes):

  • New interface to allow chemical search by SMILES and SMARTS. We support exact, similarity, substructure and superstructure chemical searches.
  • Migration from XML to JSON data format because is much friendlier than XML, it is smaller, human readable and can now be used with all popular programming languages.

Not using Our API? Request access

About the API

  • The MolPort API is implemented as REST interfaces.
  • It is the easiest way to access current compound availability data from your workflow.
  • We have sample projects available in Java and C# programming languages to demonstrate the routines for API calls, data serialization, etc.
  • Take a look at the API Documentation to see the data structures that are used.

How to use? Two ways:

  1. Run SMILES or SMARTS structure queries on MolPort available compound database. Results will list SMILES and MolPort IDs of matching compounds.
  2. Load detailed compound availability information for a known MolPort ID (after structure search API request or if you downloaded our FTP database).

September 10, 2015

Email your Shopping Cart to a Colleague or Supervisor

Let’s say you are looking for compounds online. You put together an order using the structure search or list search and now you have the items in your shopping cart. Are you ready to check out, or is something stopping you?

Does your colleague want to add items to your order? Email the shopping cart to them and they can add their items to your shopping cart, and then they can place the combined order. If you need approval from a supervisor, send your shopping cart via email so they can add or remove items. Or, send it to your purchasing officer to complete the order. Why not email it to yourself? You can! That way you can take a break, switch computers, then pick up where you left off.

Shopping Cart Sharing was created for collaborative compound ordering.

How to Share Your MolPort Shopping Cart 

1. Prepare Shopping Cart by selecting compounds
2. Email Shopping Cart to yourself or someone else
3. Add or remove items then place the order – or send it further

Select compounds and put them in your shopping cart. Send your shopping cart of selected compounds to another person with the "E-Mail to Colleague" link shown below.


You will enter the colleague’s information and a short message.

After sending the email you will get a notification (see lower) and your colleague will get an email. Notice that you still have your shopping cart items. Look at the very top right corner. The items will stay there until you accept to edit a different shopping cart.

Your colleague will get an email similar to the one shown below. Follow the link to get to the shopping cart. Make changes and checkout - or send it further!

Was this tip helpful? See more announcements on our Forum, and please share any tips and questions you might have.

Find Compounds, Choose Suppliers and Order Dozens of Compounds - All in 1 Minute

Have you ever had to purchase a set of compounds, so you search one by one, pondering which supplier to choose for each compound to minimize shipping charges, all while thinking: Why can't I simply upload the whole list and let the computer calculate the best way to order this set of compounds?

Now you can use MolPort List Search tool to convert your compound list to a quote customized to your criteria. Of course, you can finish the order online, too.

Even though you can send your compound list to MolPort customer support and get a quote in that same business day, there are still advantages to doing it yourself. With List Search you can convert your SDF file, SMILES or MolPort ID list to a shopping wish list in just a few steps.

You can customize your shopping list quickly and with little effort: change supplier ranking algorithms, set maximum lead time or price cap, and adjust desired quantity. This is all performed on the current vendor data. It is useful to customize your list if you are not yet absolutely sure which compounds to purchase, or when you need to see the complete offer to understand which changes to make next, and you need it done instantly.

How the Compound List Search Works

Watch step by step List Search User Guide (Prezi presentation), or read on:

Start by uploading your compound list. Use this simple form to copy/paste the list from Excel or another program, or upload an SDF file.

In the next window you will be asked to confirm if the engine read your data correctly. Adjust if necessary, and press the Confirm and Process button.

The compound list will be processed, matching the entries with commercially available compounds. Then, for each entry you’ll see the available quantity, supplier reliability, lead time and price. All factors available to MolPort will be considered to prepare an optimized shopping list. Our algorithms take into account shipping charges as well. Sometimes it is cheaper and smarter to buy a more expensive compound (by comparison) in order to keep the number of shipments to a minimum.

You can adjust this shopping list according to your preferences. Most of the time you can go from the compound list to the final shopping list in about one minute.

When you have the shopping list finalized, you can either generate a quote for your purchasing department or place an order online and pay with a credit card.

Question? Ask them on our Forum. Ready to get started? Visit our site

September 9, 2015

MolPort adds 16 New Suppliers: Fluorochem, HTS Biochimie, Tocris and more!

MolPort database covers all major compound suppliers for drug discovery. We also understand that easy access to the products of a small supplier are equally impotant to our clients. A supplier may sell only a few hundred compounds, but they may be unique and add important chemical diversity to your libraries.

Since last year, we added 16 new suppliers to our database and now it contains 21 screening compound suppliers and  46 building block suppliers. Many suppliers have increased their made-to-order product range, too! See the new supplier statistics:
Supplier Compounds Unique compounds Unique, % Delivery Days
Fluorochem Limited 174154 43334 25 2
Chiralix 154 112 73 3
AKL Research LLP 2884 107 4 3
EDASA Scientific 392 162 41 3
LeadGen Labs 1298 9 1 4
Labseeker 10397 605 6 5
King Scientific 24484 1309 5 5
Bide Pharmatech Ltd. 51385 1396 3 5
Tocris Bioscience 2663 1647 62 7
Dr. Silviu Pharmachem 49 18 37 7
J&K SCIENTIFIC LTD. 7124 475 7 7
Tractus Company Limited 12503 445 4 7
HTS Biochemie Innovationen 4062 123 3 7
BioBlocks 1029 4 0 7
SynQuest Laboratories, Inc. 72458 5227 7 10
Debyesci 626 77 12 30

If you are accessing MolPort database via FTP, download the latest files to see products sold by these companies. To webservice users, new products become available automatically.

We would like to thank ALL suppliers for opening their catalogues to MolPort database users!

Would you like to see a particular supplier on MolPort? Let us or them know!

Are you a supplier and would like to make your products available through MolPort, read more.

May 18, 2012

Preview: Screening compound sourcing preferences

Just a couple of days ago I wrote about the upcoming MolPort screening compound sourcing portal and what to expect from it in general. This time I will reveal some details on uploading the compound list and compound sourcing preferences or filters.

Uploading compounds

Initially, we will be accepting the compound list as an SD file (*.sdf) or text file with MolPort IDs or smiles SMILES. If in the quote or documentation you need to have your compound reference number (such as your internal database ID), add a column named “ID”. Otherwise we will use a compound sequence number in the file.

Before uploading the file, you will need to specify your sourcing preferences.

Sourcing preferences

Here is a screenshot of the form where a new request is started:

QuantityHow much of each compound you need? It happens that you may want to buy 10mg, but no supplier has more than 7mg available. What should happen? Do you still want the 7mg or you don’t care for getting only part of what you need? We will give you the option to tell us exactly what to do when full quantity is not available.
If you would prefer to order in micromoles, this option will be available, but later. First, we want to get the compound selection workflow right.
Lead timeHaving experienced myself the frustration of happily ordering a compound only to find out that it is actually no longer available or can be delivered in two months, we have given you the option to choose the maximum time within which compounds should be delivered.
PriceYou don’t want to buy expensive compounds? What is your limit: 200, 100, 50 dollars per compound? Just set the maximum acceptable price and we will filter them out accordingly.
StereochemistryInitially there will be three options to match the stereochemistry:
  1. exactly the isomer you requested;
  2. the exact isomer or a racemic mixture or
  3. any available isomer.
I must add that options 2 and 3 will look for the most practical purchase option among matching compounds. For example, if you chose option 2 and the exact isomer costs USD 150 but the racemic mixture USD 25, you will get the racemic mixture.
SaltsSalt information will be ignored. In the delivery documentation we will tell the salt form of each compound (if any) and the effective molecular weight (compound + salt).
FormatYou can order any format you need as long as it is standard supplier vials. Option to order plated compounds will come later.

What else?

So how does that fit your screening compound sourcing needs?

May 16, 2012

On our chemical supplier catalog updates. Again...

A year ago I wrote that for your chemical sourcing to be as reliable and practical as possible, it is essential to have an up-to-date compound database. Monthly or even quarterly catalog updates sound reliable enough to most computational chemists. But that is just because historically computational chemists were lucky to have an annual update that was not “polluted” with made-to-order compounds.
Ever needed 10 mg of compounds but were told that only 7 are available, or maybe just 4!? If you know the available amount of the compound for each supplier, you can pick the one that has enough in the warehouse. What if it is 10 dollars more expensive!? It is the only available purchase option!
Two factors contribute to reliable ordering:
  • Information is updated frequently;
  • Warehouse inventory is known. 
After a year’s work, among other things, we have negotiated daily warehouse inventory synchronization with four suppliers (ChemDiv, Enamine, Life Chemicals, Specs: 3.0 million unique compounds), and a bit less frequent updates with another 6 suppliers: (AnalytiCon, Key Organics, InterBioScreen, Mir Biotech, Princeton BioMolecular Research, Vitas-M Laboratory: an additional 1.1 million compounds).
MolPort available compound database summary
Quick Order products can be orders online at www.molport.com without getting a quote from MolPort first.

What does it mean to you, the buyer? Buying one of any of the 3.0 million compounds that we update daily is nearly guaranteed it will be in delivered. An additional 1.1 million compounds can be bought nearly as reliably as their warehouse inventory is known too. So if you come to MolPort for screening compound sourcing, we will give you a quick, reliable and simple quote out of 4.1 million compounds. Just place an order and wait for the delivery. A quote covering 18 screening compouns suppliers and 4.9 million compounds is almost as easy, but it takes 1 to 2 business days to prepare it (we confirm compound availability). Of course, we will still do a comprehensive search of our database of 9.7 million compounds offline, if you will request. 
And you can get this information not only at the ordering time, but at any stage of your virtual screening project by using our compound availability webservices. Now it works with InChI keys as well.
Here is the list of MolPort online chemical shop suppliers and when their catalog was updated.

May 8, 2012

MolPort screening compound online sourcing tool? Coming soon...

The new online shop is now up and running, but work doesn’t end there. Our next big improvement coming your way will be especially interesting for computational chemists. We are making a screening compound online sourcing tool. You can already order screening compounds via MolPort the old way, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have a shopping cart big enough for purchases like long lists of screening compounds where you can easilly overesee what’s in it!?

Let me give you a first look into what’s coming. Before you continue, however, let me tell that we are also looking for volunteers that would like to test it and help us make the user interface intuitive and easy to use. You can register here to participate by marking the I want to use the screening compound sourcing tool box in the registration page.

Step 1: Let MolPort know what you are looking for
To use this service, you need to be a registered MolPort user. When you log in to your first page you will be able to see all requests you have made. To start a new request you  will have to upload an SDF file or Text, CSV or Excel tables with SMILES strings or database IDs (MolPort, ZINC, PubChem, etc.) and specify order details (required quantity, lead time, stereochemistry, format, etc.).
If your order is large, it may take few minutes for our sourcing engine to do its magic and to fill your shopping cart. There will be no need to wait around. While we process the file you can review other requests or simply close your session and return later to see the calculated results (we will send you an email notification when it is done).

Step 2: Check out your order summary and play with delivery options
This is the really interesting part. Once the sourcing engine will finish it’s job, you will see right there on your screen how many compounds are availabe and how many are not. The screening automaton, as we call it, will also calculat the final price for you. And not just one final price. In addition to the one that’s optimized MolPort style – the MolPort recommended, you can also see how the prices and delivery times look sorted by lowest price or smallest number of suppliers. As time goes on there will be more and more options for customizing your final offer, but more on that you will be able to read in another post.

Step 3: Confirm order and pay
As usual, once you have decided on which calculated option to choose, a simple check out process will set things into motion to deliver your compounds to you.

And that is really all about. No more need to email suppliers or MolPort. In one short session you will be able to go from your original compound list to a finished order.

Liked what you saw? Of course, nothing is written in stone yet so if you are interested in being among the first to test drive the new tool and help us make it exactly what you want it to be, come register here by marking the I want to use the screening compound sourcing tool box and participate.

April 11, 2012

Ready, steady, go - MolPort redesigned online shop is open!

After all the work this moment has finally come - our new online shop is ready. We have cut the ribbon today and I am inviting you in to have a look around and fill your brand new shopping cart. Here is what I mean - let me give you a tour.

Searching for molecules is still just what you were used to - you can text search, browse through the periodic table or draw your desired structure or parts of it. Once you push the search button, you will start to really notice the differences. The search results page will show you the usual basic information and give you an instant clue about how soon you might get to your lab what you need - see the availability tags.

Found something interesting? Once you click on the See It button you will find the usual detailed information about the molecule like names and notations. What's new and special comes a bit lower down.

We have made some big steps towards helping you too understand from the very start of your purchase what costs how much and what the final price will be. Thanks to improvements in logistics on our part we have split delivery costs according to regions and you can see them immediately for each of the compounds under Shipping and Handling. You will also see right away if there is a minimum order fee for the compound you are interested in.

We also want you to know how much you can trust the accuracy of the information about availability of the compounds you are ordering. So, we have added information about last synchronization of our and supplier warehouse databases. Already now we have several suppliers who are sending us these updates daily and we are working hard to convince more and more of them to join.

We have also reorganized what you see when checking out what's in the shopping cart. Even though the first summary page will not show you the shipment costs, you can proceed to check out, fill in your contact details to see the order summary which we have sorted by suppliers. Here you can really see what costs how much - price of compounds, minimum order fees, delivery costs from each of the suppliers (or the extra cost of us taking care of putting it all into one handy package so you don't have to deal with receiving several packages and doing customs for all of them), and the total order value, of course.

I do really think this is the right way forward how shopping for rare chemical compounds should be done - simple, transparent, convenient, and easy on the eyes for you as a customer. What do you say?

March 14, 2012

New product availability tags

I recently wrote that all compounds can be grouped into four groups depending on whether they are (A) stock or (B) made-to-order products and (1) easy order or (2) quoted items. I wanted to hear your opinion how better to name each of these groups. Thank you for your thoughtful comments you emailed in privately or left on the blog.

You may say that everybody knows these categories and their names are not particularly important. But one of the readers emailed me to tell that I was wrong to mention tangible compounds as virtual, made to order:
"If you look up the dictionary definition you will see it says something along the lines of "real, having a physical existence, discernible by touch", which is not true of virtual compounds.  I think its use is just plain wrong in this context."

But then in the next week I was reading a manuscript that is still in the press that divides all compound sources into purchasable and tangible (that is – virtual). So clearly definitions are not as clear and self explanatory as their inventors think.

We reviewed all the comments and came up with the following tags for each of the groups:

In stock items: at least one supplier lists the compound as an item they have in the warehouse. Made-to-order compounds still need to be synthesized. We added “on request” to the tags for items that can’t be ordered yet in our online store.

Where are these tags displayed on our website, you ask? They aren’t yet. But you will see them soon!

February 17, 2012

Stock products, made-to-order products and other availability nuances

You want to get our order quickly and in full. Therefore during the ordering process it is important to know if supplier has the particular product in their warehouse and what is the available quantity. But many suppliers have catalogs of compounds that they don’t currently stock but will make it when an order will come in. Of course, these synthesis orders are not as reliable as stock product orders and they often are longer (synthesis takes some time after all). So all compounds can be divided into two large groups:
 A. Stock product – This compound is in the supplier warehouse and can be shipped out promptly;
B. Made-to-order product– This compound will be made when the buyer will place an order for it.

Made-to-order products are often also called virtual or tangible compounds.
Another factor that affects ordering efficiency is whether the supplier has integrated with the Molport online shop (see forum question: Why you show price for some sellers but list others lower without prices?). You can order any compound through Molport, but if the supplier has not integrated with our shop, we need to verify the current availability and price of the product. While it usually takes one business day, it does make ordering longer and less efficient. So both Group A and Group B can each be divided into two subgroups:
1) Easy order item – Standard packing sizes of this product can be quickly ordered for the displayed prices and shipping charges;
2) Quoted items – To order these compounds you would need to send us a request. We need to verify its latest price and availability. On average, it only takes one business day.

So when I combine both of these factors, I get the following groups of products:

In the search results we want to make it easy to recognize to which group each of compound belongs. We want to add tags.

How would you name each group in 1 to 3 words!?

June 27, 2011

How to purchase 150 screening compounds

Have you ever purchased 50, 100 or 1000 screening compounds? Usually such purchases involve from 10 to as many as 30 suppliers. At first, the biggest challenge seems to be understanding which supplier sells which compound, but during the process you encounter a series of various unexpected obstacles and complications that you initially did not even consider.

Since Molport serves numerous clients who have not previously purchased large quantities of screening compounds, we decided to share our experience. We have compiled a daily journal of the problems we have encountered not in one specific instance, but rather in the many situations in which we have found ourselves. Some of the problems were suggested by our clients. In your attempt to purchase screening compounds you may encounter only some of these problems. If your order is placed by your purchasing department, they take on the responsibility of resolving these problems and you will never even know about them.

With this I would like you to understand that we know the details and nuances of purchasing screening compounds. We know that these procedures are often very time consuming especially if you desire to purchase a greater variety of molecules. That is precisely why we created Molport – to make purchasing compounds as easy as purchasing books in Amazon.

We invite you to read our daily „Purchasing 150 screening compounds” journal. We will not publish it in its entirety all at once, but rather by day – the way things happen in reality.

See also: http://blog.molport.com/2015/09/find-compounds-choose-suppliers-and_10.html
Use List Search as one option for search by text or SMILES and more!

The „Purchasing 150 screening compounds” journal

Day 1

We have completed a virtual screening project and have identified a slew of compounds we would like to test – 150 structures. I have an SD file of structures that I convert to the SMILES format and upload it on the ZINC database search form. I like ZINC – this database allows me to quickly find suppliers for an extensive list of compounds and to save the information for further use in Excel. Today I found suppliers for only 125 of the 150 compounds on my list and they are available from 11 different suppliers: one supplier sells 23 compounds, another – 39. Many compounds are offered by more than one supplier and in total there are 243 different catalogue numbers. My colleagues and I discuss which suppliers to use. In the end we decide to contact all the suppliers. The catalogue information databases tend to be outdated – some compounds have already been sold out since being entered into the database. By contacting the suppliers directly we will receive the latest information. I compile lists of each suppliers compounds and will get in touch with all of them tomorrow.

Day 2

I will start my day by quickly contacting all the suppliers. I found each supplier’s home page with information on how to request prices and in-stock status. I found the email address for seven of the suppliers and sent them the list of compounds I was interested in. For one supplier it was necessary to search each compound online in their home page – I found the price as well as the quantity available. I started to enter this information in an Excel table. Two suppliers offer the option of submitting catalogue numbers in their home page, but I will have to contact them nevertheless, because shipping charges do not appear in their home page. In order for us to purchase the maximum number of compounds for the money we have available for this purpose, I will have to contact them for the complete total cost of the order. For one supplier the only way of getting in touch is a contact form in their home page. I wrote them that I wanted to purchase their compounds, but did not know how to do so. Unfortunately, while I was writing I did not notice I had lost my WIFI connection and all I had written was simply lost. Too bad! I wrote everything a second time.

That was a bit of a chore! To get this done took me all morning!

My Excel table already contains the data from those suppliers whose information was available in their home page. By the end of the day I received the first two offers by email. I also entered this data in the Excel table. I am not sure how to correctly save the shipping costs. Each compound has its price, but each order has its total costs that do not depend on the number of compounds ordered! It will be a bit more complicated than I thought to compute the true cost of each compound.

Day 3

I received one more offer. It seems that I will be able to order about one half of the compounds very soon. I am sure I will receive the remaining offers today. Unfortunately, one supplier did not include shipping charges, so I had to write him again. One supplier responded that they would not be able to submit an offer since they service a different region. At least he gave the information to the right contact person! I send the email that I wrote yesterday again, this time to our regional representative. I received an answer along with an offer within one hour. Now that’s what I call service!

I continued to compile offers, but I was really getting tired of this little job. I chose two suppliers and sent them an email requesting offers for the four compounds they sell. To avoid confusion, I started to group these emails in a separate file.

In the afternoon I received an email from the supplier who had not included shipping charge information. Now things are starting to happen! One more supplier sent his offer. But the supplier I contacted using the contact form still has not answered. I reviewed what had been done so far in order to understand exactly what we had managed to find to date: I have offers for 62 products – 40 molecules. Now we understand that 21 molecules will not be available from any of the suppliers – they are sold out!

Day 4

I received three more offers. Now 10 of 11 suppliers have answered. I compiled all the information, but even without the last supplier, it was evident that 35 molecules had already been sold out. A colleague from another group told me over lunch that compounds can also be searched in www.chemspider.com. I checked my 35 missing structures there and found 16 more compounds from 4 suppliers. Two of these compounds are very expensive – 2000 USD each! No! We cannot buy anything that expensive.

Seems like a major hassle for just a few compounds, but some of them have a fairly unique structure and I would really like to test them! And I have to request price information again. I will contact only two suppliers – that way I will be able to get 10 compounds. The other four compounds would have to be purchased two from each supplier – that would be both expensive and complicated and what’s more, I have never heard of these suppliers before. I note that these compounds are not purchasable.

I am still waiting for precise costs and delivery times from one supplier. In order to speed up the process, we could already order products from 9 suppliers. I spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out the most advantageous way to order. 103 compounds can be purchased in several ways, because they are in fact 162 different products. Ok. We decide to purchase all the compounds from the supplier that offers the greatest number of compounds at the lowest price. Next we will purchase the maximum number available from the supplier with the second lowest price. And I processed the entire list. Why are there such differences in price? In the end it turned out I would buy only 2 compounds from the supplier I had requested information on 23 compounds from, because the other compounds can be ordered from other suppliers. Interesting, isn’t it? At the end of the day I filled out the order forms and submitted them to our purchasing division.

Before heading home I decided to make another attempt to contact the supplier who can be reached only by the form in his home page. This is my third try. Upon carefully searching all parts of his home page I found a telephone number and a fax number. I called, but got the answering machine, because this business is in another part of the world and it is now nighttime. I left a message on the answering machine and sent a fax as well. While doing this, I received an email from the supplier whose compounds I found in ChemSpider. He needed to know the quantity and delivery location of the compound in question. I had apparently forgotten to include that in my original purchase request! I sent the requested information and also wrote an email to the supplier I had requested two compounds from. The supplier responded with his offer late in the evening.

Day 5

Today is Saturday! And tomorrow is a day off as well! My friends and I decide to go whitewater rafting!

Day 7

Today we received a response from the two remaining suppliers and we were able to order 10 more compounds from them. In total we have now ordered 125 compounds from 11 suppliers. We were unable to purchase only 25 compounds. Of course, it would be better if we had been able to purchase all 150. Perhaps we should have started with 175 or 200 compounds giving us a greater likelihood that in the end 150 would be purchased?

I also talked to our purchasing department about the orders. It turns out that we had no previous transaction history with 4 of the 11 suppliers. Accounts will have to be opened for them, but the purchasing department will handle all of that – I just have to send them the contact information.

In the evening I checked our purchasing system and saw that orders had already been placed with 7 of the suppliers. Super!

Day 8

The system shows that orders have been placed with 10 suppliers.

Day 9

An order has still not been placed with one supplier. It seems that they have to fill in a great number of documents in order to open an account and they have not yet done so.

Day 10

A purchase order has still not been placed with the last supplier. I sent an email to the purchasing department asking them to put a rush on this. In the meantime the courier service delivered a package from the first supplier (Supplier 1). That is great service! I will check into the possibility of leaving a comment on their home page.

Day 11

Finally all purchase orders have been placed! I received emails from FedEx saying that two more packages (from Supplier 2 and Supplier 3) are on their way.

It is once again the weekend. It is hard to believe that two weeks have passed and we have just finished placing purchase orders.

Day 14

I am still waiting for delivery.

Day 15

I received a phone call from a colleague at the laboratory next to mine. The courier service had left a package addressed to me at his lab because my door had been locked. He had almost forgotten about the package. I also received the bill from Supplier 1.

Day 16

I received a package from Supplier 5 – the invoice showed totally different compounds than those which had been ordered and the bill was only 5 USD. I wrote to the supplier asking for the correct compounds. I received notification from Supplier 6 that their order was on its way.

Day 17

UPS called to say that the shipment from Supplier 3 needs to go through customs and they requested prepayment for this procedure. Our bookkeeper refused since it is not our policy to do so.

Day 18

Supplier 3 wrote to say that UPS had informed them that we refused to accept delivery. We did not refuse delivery, we simply could not prepay the customs fees. Supplier 3 offered to pay for customs and include the fee in our bill. That is good, otherwise we probably would never receive this shipment.

Day 21

We received the shipment from Supplier 7 and Supplier 8, but customs requested additional information about the shipment from Supplier 6. They did not understand why the package was coming from the Ukraine, but the bill from the US. We needed to submit an explanation of how we placed this order.

Day 23

We finally received the shipment from Supplier 6.

Day 24

NMR spectra for three compounds from two suppliers do not match their structure. We sent the results to the supplier.

Day 28

I received a phone call from a very distraught Supplier 9 asking why we had refused delivery of their shipment – it was about to be returned. But I had received no information about this shipment! It turns out that because DHL had been unable to reach the addressee by phone, they did not deliver the shipment. It seems odd that they had not been able to reach anyone – someone is usually at the laboratory!? I called DHL and finally took care of the situation. Although the shipment was on its way back, they would return it to us. The supplier agreed with the compound analyses and will remove these compounds from our bill.

Day 29

We received the shipment from Supplier 9 with 3 fewer compounds than we had ordered. These compounds had not passed their quality control. I do not understand why they did not notify me earlier! I could have ordered these compounds from another supplier had I known!

Day 30

Two weeks have passed and I finally received a response from Supplier 5. It seems that the compounds in the package with the strange invoice are those we had ordered, but the invoice did not match the contents of the shipment because it had been easier for the supplier to send the shipment that way. But where are the compounds now? Were they destroyed? Returned? We found them in the refrigerator.

Day 31

We should have received the shipment from Supplier 10 by now. I inquired about the status of my order and the supplier responded that the compounds would be sent in a few days. First efforts to synthesize these compounds had not been successful and they were awaiting results of the second synthesis. Synthesis!?! They said they had these compounds in their warehouse!?! This information leads me to suspicions about the shipment from Supplier 11 which was also late. I wrote to this supplier as well inquiring about the status of my order.

A month has passed since we started ordering these compounds.

Day 32

Supplier 11 responded. The synthesis of the compounds in question was taking longer than expected and thus, they were requesting a two-week extension on the order. I agreed with the stipulation that we must receive the compounds by day 60. That is the project deadline and the supplier agreed to this stipulation.

Day 35

I received an angry email from Supplier 1 who complained that we had missed the deadline for payment by 14 days and asked that we take care of this. Where to find the time to deal with all of this!

Day 36

I received word from SUP10 that 3 of 5 compounds had been successfully synthesized and the shipment was on its way.

Day 37

We received information from FedEx that they had received a shipment from Supplier 10 that needed to go through customs. The supplier had not sent the necessary bill so we sent an email requesting them to forward the bill.

Day 38

We received the bill from the supplier, we forwarded it to FedEx. Customs was unable to clear our shipment the same day and now we have to wait an additional two days (national holiday).

Day 43

The shipment from Supplier 10 cleared customs but it could not be delivered today.

Day 44

The shipment from Supplier 10 was delivered! We are still awaiting information from Supplier 11 regarding the results of the synthesis of our compounds. I sent an email. They responded that they are still awaiting the last results and then they will send the shipment.

Day 46

Supplier 11 wrote that 16 of 21 compounds had been successfully synthesized. The shipment was on its way.

Day 51

UPS requested the bill for the shipment from Supplier 11 it could clear customs. We forwarded the bill.

Day 52

Customs detained the shipment because they needed a statement from the import authority, which requested a COA, MSDS and other documentation regarding the origin of the compound. We did not have such documentation and asked that the supplier rush the necessary documents to us.

Day 57

We received the documents from the supplier, we forwarded them to the import authority.

Day 60

We started testing. Supplier 11 had not met the deadline for delivery

Day 65

The shipment from Supplier 11 cleared customs and was delivered


For the 150 compounds we had selected, we found 11 suppliers for 125 molecules, but only 112 compounds were actually delivered.

The process of searching for these compounds was so complicated and time consuming that we finally decided not to order several compounds to decrease the number of suppliers we would have to communicated with. The ordering process was as follows: in order to contact 13 suppliers, 12 emails were sent, the CONTACT US form was filled out three times, a fax was sent, messages were left on the answering machine and four hours were spent in the home pages of the suppliers checking on prices and availability. Finally, compounds were ordered from only 11 suppliers.

The ordering procedure itself took a total of 6 days because 5 of the 11 suppliers needed to complete new account documentation.

Shipment delivery required tremendous patience! Delivery took 41 days during which time 11 shipments were received. During this period we received 24 different emails from suppliers, courier services and customs; we sent 15 emails. Several phone calls were made, statements and explanations were written, documentation and compounds were tracked.

After this 2 month long process, the price of these compounds can not only be expressed in monetary terms – it now includes our time and frazzled nerves!


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