Laboratory Instrument Contract Consideration

Let’s Talk Contracts

With the recession coming, many laboratories are rethinking contracts and the prices associated with them. Best case, they save you a lot of downtime and extra costs associated with big repairs. Worst case, your instrument never breaks down and you still spent the money.

While the costs associated with these contracts seem high, single component failures on any given system can cost more to repair than the contract. This doesn’t happen often, but I have experienced firsthand what it looks like when it does! And it’s not pretty…

I’m not here to talk you into buying a contract, but I can offer a few tips that may make the decision whether or not to have one is a good fit.

– Low Technology Instrument –

  • Is the system fairly easy to work on?
  • Does it have a lot of moving and/or breakable parts?
  • Are most replaceable parts considered consumables?

– Low Capital Instrument –

  • How much does the system cost to replace?
  • How much value do the tests performed on the system bring to the company?
  • Can the work be sent out in the case of a catastrophic failure, without costing you profit margin?

– Low Use Instrument –

  • Is the system rarely used?
  • Is the system used for only one or two types of analysis?

– Staffing Experience –

  • Do you have a high turnover?
  • Are your professionals less experienced than the average user?

These all may seem like obvious suggestions to consider while considering if a contract is a good fit or not, but you’d be surprised how many instruments are under contract years after they had been stored in a broom closet…

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