Updating Your Lab Equipment? Essential Tips for Choosing the Right Laboratory Equipment | Corning

Choosing the right laboratory equipment from the right company can be difficult. This is especially true with potential supply chain issues that could cause delays in delivery. In this video, David Cox, Director of Laboratory Solutions shares some top tips from Corning Life Sciences on essential things to think about when choosing lab equipment for the modern laboratory, plus what to look for in a supplier to ensure good customer service and after care. Discover the key areas to consider including when to start your procurement research, understanding total cost of ownership and reducing high-touch surfaces during the COVID pandemic. 

Q: How is Corning overcoming supply chain issues?

David Cox: Access to lab equipment and consumables has been difficult recently, and the life sciences industry has not been spared from the supply chain challenges that we've seen really across the world. So, as a manufacturer we work very closely with our supply chain partners to obtain raw materials to meet customer demand in a timely manner. But despite the best efforts of our supply chain team and our manufacturing team partners, we still have some shortages that we expect will continue into 2022. In order to mitigate this, we've been aggressively expanding manufacturing capacity and instituting programs to retain labor, so that when those raw materials do show up, we are able to quickly convert them into products that customers need as quickly as we can. Laboratories should think about planning their purchases of laboratory equipment from a couple of different perspectives. There's a timing perspective. And from that perspective, given the supply chain constraints that we've seen, I think it is really important that customers who are thinking about replacing or updating their laboratory equipment, reach out earlier to some of their sales representatives to inquire about product availability and even consider placing orders earlier than they normally would. If they're facing challenges with finding the product, maybe they would have to reach out to additional channel partners or even directly to the supplier of the equipment, look for alternative ways to obtain the product that they need. From a product selection perspective, it's important to think not only about the price of the equipment but about the total cost of ownership, the reputation of the supplier, and the support, that supplier will provide you after you purchase the product. Manufacturers sometimes offer similar products and it's difficult for customers to differentiate. So, I would recommend considering four aspects before making a purchase. The first aspect would be product specifications. Consumables and equipment that perform the same function often have pretty different specifications. And it's really worth considering what are the specific needs of your lab, and how do those specifications match those needs. The second consideration is the footprint that the piece of equipment is going to take in your lab. Lab bench space is always at a premium, so it really makes sense to think about where exactly that piece of equipment is going to go and how it's going to fit. The third consideration that is really new in the COVID area is limiting the usage of high-touch surfaces. So, recently we've seen that personal or bench top equipment are becoming more popular in labs that are trying to limit the number of people that are touching high-touch areas and shared equipment. The fourth aspect to consider is compatibility of consumables. There are many suppliers of consumables in the market, but only the suppliers of the consumables and the equipment can ensure compatibility of the whole system. Take for example, the pipettors and pipet tips, all Corning pipettors are calibrated for Corning pipet tips, and we guarantee the accuracy of the system in individual certificates of quality.

Q: What else could help in choosing the right equipment?

David Cox: A final thing to consider when choosing the right laboratory equipment partner is the support that the manufacturer will provide you when you need either product support or extra help on an application or a technical question. And I think this is one area where Corning really differentiates. We help really minimize the cost of ownership of the product by providing very quick support and having our scientific-supported customer service team answer any technical product questions or application support needs you might have.

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