A Few Things to Consider When Buying Lab Equipment
Purchasing new lab equipment can be hard on a budget. There are a lot of things to consider before emptying your wallet, but first, you should put together a list of every item you will need, and split that list into “Essential Resources for Research” and “Expensive Resources”. By beginning to shop this way, you can easily pinpoint which purchases are necessary and which purchases are exciting, but too expensive and unnecessary for your research projects.
Realize that environmentally friendly lab equipment is in limited supply, and though the initial cost of environmentally friendly equipment may be much more than anticipated, it can tend to pay off over time with lower maintenance costs.
Not only will you be comparing and contrasting the costs of equipment from various manufacturers, but you will also be examining maintenance costs, the price of replacement parts, and the price of consumables. Factor in the full cost of each and every item, including each item’s parts and consumables.
Find out the length of the duration of the manufacturer’s warranty. After that warranty expires, you’ll want to see what else is available – what are the service contract terms and conditions? Service contracts can include software updates, calibration, priority service, discounted upgrades, preventative maintenance, and certification. Participating in a service contract can be beneficial as it can add a set cost to your budget which will reduce any hassles and unexpected expenses that may occur if your equipment breaks or malfunctions.
Availability of Parts
Reference the cost of the parts of each piece of equipment. Are the parts readily available? Where can they be purchased? How often will you have to buy them, and how much will they be? Consider the cost and availability of parts as part of the cost of the entire piece of equipment.
System Updates and Tech Support
Lab equipment suppliers will often bundle technical support and system updates with their service contracts. You should specifically look for tech support that is available via a toll-free number, and for system updates that are free.
Consider who will be using the equipment you are purchasing. Will it be possible to train the staff using the equipment quickly and easily? The staff should be able to readily access and use the equipment, to easily access information about the equipment, and easily contact tech support.
The circumstances under which the equipment will be used are also important. Consider these circumstances to choose which product features offered on various brands of equipment are vital to you.
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