Positive air pressure is when the air pressure inside of a system is greater than atmospheric pressure outside of the system). In some scenarios, positive pressure is used to ensure there is no entry of the surrounding environment into the closed system.
A fume extractor is a system utilizing a fan to pull fumes and particulate into a filtration system cleaning the air of harmful chemicals and particulates. Industrial processes create fumes or particles such as welding, sanding, grinding, spraying, powder filling, and chemical applications. Fume extractors use a variety of filters while some systems, depending upon application, use multiple filters in line. The combination of the powerful fan and high-quality filtration media creates a recirculating air pattern for ductless units. Because of the air flow, ductwork or costly replacement air is not required. These units take up less space, weigh less, are more energy efficient, and have easy access to change filters.
A ducted fume hood is a ventilated enclosure used to protect labs and users from hazardous and respirable fumes, dust, and particulates. By utilizing a ducting system, this exterior-venting exhaust hood is typically used for applications with high volumes of volatile organic compounds, and toxic chemicals, gases, or powders.
Any distributor sales rep who has never called on a wastewater treatment lab or a paper mill should not be eligible for a promotion. It’s not just the unforgettable smells that you can never forget. The labs you see in many of the smaller facilities are not the neat-and-tidy sort. The EPA and the state environmental regulators require that testing be performed and there is a level of accreditation for the person reporting the results.
Since that day at Indiana University when my Grignard Reaction blew up in my face and I spent the next few days clearing my eyes and nose of ether, Laboratory safety has been an area of particular interest for me.
Working for many years with Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, TN, where highly flammable and dangerous chemicals are being manufactured, showed me how companies take safety seriously.
● Hach, a Danaher company, has achieved a dangerously high percentage of market share in the water testing market.
● Lovibond and Taylor Technologies have been in this space for far longer, and both offer equivalent products or better technologies at much better pricing.
● Consumers need to push back against these policies to prevent a monopoly from forming.
I want to take a moment to brag about my team. Let’s start with Lisa Greene, who just celebrated her 10th anniversary at LPS. She literally helped build LPS, and has been here since we began operations. Lisa, along with Erik Bennett (over 7 years with LPS!), are the faces of LPS, and interact with you, our clients, each day.. Behind the scenes are Holly Bingham (AR/AP) and Ann Berger (Marketing Support and another long-term former VWR representative with a Masters in Chemistry.)
Why do customers continue to buy from big distributors despite the fact that promised savings goals are rarely met?
Why must you deal with a sales rep to receive any discounts from (artificially inflated) published list prices?
● Prices go up year after year and savings goals promised are never delivered.
● Service levels go down, year after year. You are told you don’t buy enough to warrant an in-person sales rep. Some companies have even eliminated phone calls!
● Freight charges, fuel charges, handling charges and late payment penalties keep getting tacked on to your bill.
In my 50+ years of experience in the lab distribution business, the one thing that still mystifies me is chemical pricing. Specifically, how is the list price set and why is bargaining still the only way to arrive at a competitive price
A lot has been happening at LPS. The good news is that we avoided a UPS strike. Whew! That was a close call…
We are still dealing with Corning’s struggles to turn out product. They are one of the few companies manufacturing sterile coliform water sample bottles in volumes greater than 120ml. This delay has put the load on every other manufacturer, all of whom are now in a backorder situation.
Whenever we are interviewing prospective new clients, I always stress that communication is the key to a successful partnership. This is especially true for those clients who may still be purchasing most of their goods from another distributor.
● How did regional distributors make a comeback in the market?.
● Why do regional distributors appeal to lab buyers?
● What are the major objections to doing more business with regional distributors?
● How do regional distributors compete against the big distributors?
Did you know that when you purchased goods on labproservices.com that you weren’t dealing with a lab supply distributor? If not, who were you buying from? You were actually buying from a hybrid Procurement Service Provider. What the heck is that, you ask?
We were informed recently that Hach no longer permits its distributors to sell their products to resellers. Hach is a Danaher Corporation company. Danaher owns a lot of premier brands including Beckman Coulter. In the life science sector, they have acquired Pall Life sciences as well as Cytiva (formerly GE Whatman) whose most recent revenue statement was $31.47 billion.
Following retirement after many years working for VWR International, my goal in establishing Lab Procurement Services in February 2013 was to create a company that provides VIP support to customers who big distributors had decided didn’t buy enough to warrant first class service.
- Proprietary vs. “Universal” tips.
- What are the most common reasons tips “don’t fit?”
- Devising a classification system for pipet tips.
- Why tips for pipettors larger than 3ml (“macro” tips) are so hard to classify.
- Using this classification system to search for the tips you need.
What is LPS new approach to Scientific Supply?
There are many things in life that you can do but realize there are others who can do the same thing faster, more efficiently and more proficiently. Things like: Cleaning your house. Changing the oil in your car. Investing. Decorating a house. Doing your taxes, just to name a few.
● Office renovation
● “Post pandemic” - how it has impacted LPS, our clients and our vendors
● Launch of the new LPS Website - preparations and things we are asking you to do
● Promotions and new employees. Erik Bennett is now VP of Sales & Marketing and a full partner
● Holly Bingham is now a full-time employee
The Lab Supply Sales Rep Changing Roles In this post we will take a look at the lab supply sales rep. What do they do? What makes a good rep? Do customers want reps to make actual sales calls in the age of the internet?
Parafilm - Impacted by refineries closing during the pandemic and a worldwide shortage of paraffins.
Sterile Latex Gloves - Still on allocation, but the situation is gradually improving.
Glass vials - Glass tubing used for vaccine vial manufacturing causes global shortage.
Syringes - BD is focusing on medical but other brands are available so be flexible.
Microplates Petri Dishes - Corning is still on backorder, but shows some signs of relief.
The supply chain for many items used in labs has been disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We will take a look at what items have been impacted, how manufacturers large and small have handled it and explore the reasons for the disruptions and what can be done about it.
LPS's purpose is to save its clients money throughout the P2P process. From the initial list of items, LPS asks its clients to specify whether or not alternative but equivalent products would be considered for their orders? The default answer we use is yes. However, when the initial orders are placed and the end user gets to see the alternative product that was selected, there could be push-back. People resist change Is there a better way to manage the change?
Ordering the routine supplies you need to operate your lab is a routine task on most days. But when things go wrong and you can no longer perform testing, the costs can skyrocket. In a manufacturing environment, if the product cannot be validated to ship, the costs to the business can be in the millions of dollars per day!
Nobody is happy when their prices increases after January 1st. Many customers feel that by signing a pricing agreement (or contract) that they can use this document to restrict price increases. But somehow, spending is more than expected during the 3 - 5 year term of a contract. What happened? How could this have happened?
Our clients love what we do for them. If you, like me, have ever asked, “Isn’t there a better way?” We may have a good answer to that question.
This post for consumers is on the evolving lab supply manufacturer-distributor relationship.
It also provides information on how manufacturers can sell their products more effectively through the small and regional distributor channel.
The answer to this question depends on three key parameters:
Would the Chinese retaliate by putting stiff tariffs on lab supplies? (Will this category of products be big enough to hit their “radar screen?)
How many of the lab supplies offered for sale in the U.S. source from China?
How much of what you buy is sourced from China?
So you think you have what it takes to sell lab supplies for one of the large distributors? In this blog post we will explore what really is the “right stuff” to be successful in this industry.
For commodity items used in the lab, are the much higher prices you pay for a brand name product really yielding more reliable results? Are they worth the premium price? Are you aware of how much more you are paying to get a brand name product?
When qualifying a vendor there are many concepts to consider. First are the straight forward ideas such as do they have the item I need? Is it the best price? Can they deliver on time? And so on. These qualities are easily identified and readily accessible. There are many suppliers for NaCl for example both domestic and imported that offer the product in a variety of container sizes and can deliver the next day at competitive price via a multitude of shipping companies. This product is suitable if you are making a solution for a High School biology class. If, however, your needs are a bit more complex and you need greater control of your supply chain then knowing more about your vendor and their capabilities becomes critical.
Working in a lab means you are going to be working with substances that just aren’t good for your health. This might be infectious agents or chemicals. In both cases, the risk may be very low or it may be extremely lethal or anything in between.
The most common vectors for entry into your body are through the skin, inhalation or ingestion. We will be focusing here on the skin vector and specifically on hand protection.
In all the years I have been dealing with labs, I can only think of one occasion where people were doing actual testing to see if the gloves they were using would actually protect the wearer!
Is this the position you have been put in by your pipettor manufacturer? Have they convinced you that if you do not use their brand of tips no matter what the cost that you will be (insert gasp here…) introducing error into your experiments that may jeopardize your results? Why take the risk. Just accept this and bury your head in the sand. It makes your wallet much more accessible to them!
Lab Procurement Services announces a strategic partnership with Proacure Corp. This partnership will provide a platform for transparent, optimized strategic sourcing, process delivery, savings realization and enhanced compliance to organizations worldwide.
Water is used in every type of lab for everything from hand and glassware washing to some of the most complex biochemical assays. But in my experience, very few lab managers are knowledgeable about reagent grade water and only very few lab managers can provide a correct explanation of the differences between Type I, II and III water.
How can LPS compete against the likes of Thermo Fisher and VWR? Many of our long-term clients know the answer: We communicate better
What is the optimal level of customer care?
The seller must know and understand his buyer’s needs intimately.
Buyers expect the seller to respond to their needs promptly (goal: immediately.)
Buyers expect someone on the selling end to be personally responsible.
The buyer/seller relationship, where possible should be on a first-name basis.
The seller should be looking out for the customer’s interests proactively.
Would you be willing to jeopardize your results to save money by buying pipet tips that are inaccurate or contaminated? The answer is easy because the cost of introducing error far outweighs the money saved. So what is the "safe" choice? Here are the primary ways labs make the best choice:
Fact: The average value of the contents of the average -86o freezer averages $150,000.
Question: What is the value of the contents of the refrigerator where you store your reagents or specimens?
Fact: Although refrigerators are built to last 10 – 15 years and are the second biggest source of power consumption in the lab (#1 is your fume hood) most labs buy based on the lowest price as the primary consideration.
Question: Is buying cheap refrigeration / freezing equipment really a good decision?
The laboratory supply distribution business is undergoing dramatic changes due to a variety of market forces. How will this impact your laboratory? This article will provide you with information in how you can deal with these dramatic market shifts and make them work to your advantage.
Let's first look at some survey data that was published in Lab Manager Magazine's November 2013 issue . The opening paragraph illustrates how dramatically the landscape has changed just this year:
MAKING THE BEST CONTAINER CHOICE TAKES SCIENCE!
The photomicrograph on the left is the surface of a plastic container that contained a chemical that should never have been stored in that container. Where did the plastic go? Into the chemical as a contaminate. How did this impact the results of the analysis?
There is a lot of discussion today about how well the very wealthy have done over the last 15 years compared to the other 99% of the U.S. population. A parallel evolution has happened in the lab supply distribution business where the ‘A’ customers of the big distributors have the red carpet rolled out while the B, C and D customers get the Wal-Mart treatment – but without the low prices.
So in this article, you will first get a glimpse of what it’s like to be an ‘A’ customer. Then we will explore what’s going on with the B, C and D customers…the other 99% of labs.
Profitable Procurement is an oxymoron; a phrase that, in and of itself, is a contradiction. Predominantly, business procurement generates expenses, which are deducted from income, thereby, diminishing profitability.
“Savings” from lower prices on expense categories such as business essentials* do not convey directly to the bottom line, if at all. Obtaining a $0.10 lower price on cartons of copy paper does not produce savings traceable to your profitability.
Profitable Procurement contributes quantifiable profit directly to your bottom line through an innovative strategy of "selling” procurement process improvements plus aggregated purchasing volume to a single vendor and increasing your negotiating power exponentially.
How do you change your procurement department from a cost center to a profit center?
All businesses, including laboratories are looking for more options to increase their profits. Procurement functions, today, play an increasingly important role in improving business performance and productivity. To enhance business performance, laboratories are exploring new procurement models, which include widening the supplier base, making it more responsive and more flexible. Companies are partnering with procurement outsourcing providers in areas such as procurement analytics and procure-to-pay cycles.
Utilizing LPS procurement services, clients are able to achieve rapid, sustainable improvement in their procurement performance, drive innovation, alleviate risks with regard to supply and steer growth. LPS's procurement services deliver several benefits including sustainable long-term savings in procurement that directly impact the bottom line. LPS focuses on managing the clients' purchases by delivering process efficiencies through organizational efficiency and effectiveness, and creating measurable savings quickly. The LPS procurement outsourcing solution helps laboratories restructure and revitalize their procurement function.
Let’s face it. You don’t negotiate lab supply contracts very often. At best once every 3 – 5 years? The people you are negotiating with do this every day and they are much more skilled at this than you are. Your advantage is that you have what they want – money. You want as much for that money as you can get and they want to make as much profit as possible.
In many negotiations or RFP’s I've seen, customers who ask often get what they ask for even if what they ask for is far more than a lab of their size deserves. How do they do this?
They know WHAT to ask for.
They make the competition appear real. (Everyone has a favorite vendor of course and even if you play your cards very close to the vest, distributors know that an incumbent has a leg up in any negotiation.)
They aren't too eager to sign the agreement.
So what should you ask for? Here is my list of the top ten things you should ask for when negotiating contracts with a major distributor:
Are you getting the maximum benefit from your distributor contract or agreement? Don't assume that your distributor rep has the expertise or the motivation to guide you. Here are a few things to ask for that will help you get the most out of your existing agreement.
-What is vendor consolidation and why is it considered beneficial?
-What are the key benefits of vendor consolidation?
-How much would your lab benefit from vendor consolidation?
-Can you have all the advantages of vendor consolidation and have vendors compete for your business?
-Cost savings with measurement of services levels and defined baseline costs.
-Increasing company productivity by reassigning key personnel from procurement o impact activities.
-Factual research and results referenced in the following article.
-An offer from LPS to review feasibility at no initial cost – we take the investigative risk for you!
If you purchase, sooner or later, you will get a bill which must be paid. This is something that every business must do. At LPS, our core business is placing orders for our clients. We are constantly focused on reducing our costs through process efficiency. In this installment, we will be analyzing how we have optimized the purchasing process with the goal of lowering cost and increasing accuracy.