When it comes to purchasing equipment for your laboratory, proper due diligence is the order of the day. You need to take your time when considering the work environment, the people who will be using the equipment and how much flexibility the equipment has in regards to how it can be applied around the laboratory. Also, you have to consider the economic sense of a purchase beyond just the cost, such as does it make sense to have a floor model centrifuge, or will a tabletop model meet requirements allowing an additional piece of equipment to occupy the space of the floor model.
Below are some suggestions on what to consider when purchasing new (or refurbished) equipment for the laboratory:
Whenever new (or refurbished) equipment needs to be procured, price is always going to be a contentious issue. Aside from the purchase price, you also need to consider what it will cost to service the equipment over its lifetime, as well as the cost of any parts and consumables required to keep it running. You may find the most expensive model to buy, costs less to run than other lower priced models. Conducting a side-by-side comparison of makes and models may also help simplify the decision making process.
One of the first things you will need to consider is the duration of the manufacturer’s warranty on any items that you purchase, as it will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Therefore, after the warranty period expires, you will need to look at a service contract, in order to keep up maintenance on your equipment, ensuring it has a long life. Before you sign any service contract with the manufacturer, or a third party supplier, make sure that you are aware of all the costs upfront, such as parts, transportation, cancellations, along with response times and if there is an auto-renewal clause, in case you decide to look around for another servicer when your contract reaches its conclusion.
Availability of Parts and Consumables
When you are considering OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) certified parts, either new or refurbished, do their prices fall within your maintenance budget? Also, enquire about high volume consumables that your equipment will need to use, especially availability, turnaround ordering time, and delays should they run out of parts or stock. This will also help you plan your ordering cycle and reduce the amount of downtime in the laboratory.
Tech Support & System Updates
Depending on the type of service contract you sign, this can usually be included within the terms & conditions. However, as many companies are providing alternatives to traditional service contracts, this is the best time for you to negotiate technical support and system updates.
Probably something many do not consider is the skill-level of those using the equipment. Will they require additional training in order to harness all its functions, and if so, what is the cost of the training and the amount of down-time to complete it? Also, if the equipment’s functionality requires its users to have senior level experience, then placing it in an area where students or junior level staff have access to it may not be the best option, or you could consider going for a more user-friendly option.
At Bioline Global, our consultants are able and happy to answer every question that you may have, as well as spend the time with you to find out the needs of your laboratory, and its staff, to ensure you have the right equipment. To find out how we can help you further, please feel free to contact us on 1800 210 805, or you can fill out our Online Enquiry Form, and we will contact you as soon as possible.