Max’s Observations

Max’s Observations

Max’s Observations

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.)

In my latest blog post “Big Distributor Reps: Friend or Foe”, I recall my days working for Scientific Products, then Baxter who later merged with VWR. What I set out to convey in this article was how setting up a profit-driven system, designed to hide profit-making tactics from the customer to extract more of their cash differs from the service-oriented system we have built at LPS. From the beginning, I have pledged that LPS will turn all of that on its head. We will always deal openly and honestly with our customers. .

The fact that Lisa and Erik (as well as our numerous long-term clients) have stayed on the job so long and have become so good at what they do is a testament that this strategy is sound.

The Chemical Corner

What is a single chemical or solution found in nearly every lab? I’m going to make a guess here and say pH buffers. Everyone sells pH buffers. How difficult is it to make a pH buffer?

To make a pH 7 buffer, add 10g of potassium phosphate monohydrate to one liter of water (this doesn't need to be exact,) and stir it until the solid dissolves. Then add KOH slowly, flake by flake, monitoring the pH until it reaches 7.00. That’s all it takes.

There are a few companies who make private label buffers for the big distributors. It should come as no surprise that the big distributors' wholesale prices are extremely low. But you would never know it by looking at the list price for a 500ml bottle of pH 7.0 buffer:

  • Fisher (AC258590010) - $92.40, Fisherbrand (15-200-901, 475ml) - $27.85
  • VWR BDH (BDH5046-500ML) - $69.03
  • Hach (2283549) - $20.06
  • Midland Scientific (MSI B2281-500ML) - $33.48
  • Cole-Parmer (Oakton EW-05942-41) - $149 (only sold by case of 12)
  • Labchem (LC123801) - $24.20

So what is a good price for pH buffers today? This is the type of analysis that we do at LPS for our clients every day. And as a client, you get the benefit. We are now able to sell the Midland Scientific brand product in 500ml size (highlighted in yellow above) for under $15!]

Has any other supplier sent you this type of analysis? That’s the difference between a Procurement Services provider and a distributor.

The Vendor Corner

These are both 500mL, Class A volumetric flasks. The one on the left is manufactured by Eisco, P/N CH0441FWT. It sells for $13.68 each.

The flask on the right, (with the blue liquid) is DWK Life Sciences (formerly Kimble) P/N 28013-500, Fisher P/N 10-248F. You can only buy it by the case of 12 and the price is $1,382 per case, or $115.37 each, or nearly 10X the price for the Eisco item!

When the savings are of this magnitude, customers start to question the quality. How could the lower-priced flask be just as good?

Our featured vendor this month is Eisco Labs. We were introduced to this company at the ILDA (Independent Laboratory Dealers Association) meetings and watched as they expanded from the educational world into the industrial market.

EISCO has a broad product offering and nearly all of their items are on priced on our cost-plus basis, of course.

Here is a link to their Industrial Catalog We have never had an issue with quality. Look for LPS to be offering their products as cost saving alternatives! They are a great supplier who stocks their products and they ship promptly. Compare that performance to DWK who is nearly always backordered!

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