Laboratory Instrument Service Contracts Help You Avoid These Common Problems

Laboratory Instrument Service Contracts Help You Avoid These Common Problems

Lab service contracts keep your lab running smoothly while saving time, money, and frustration.

Lab Managers can attest to the fact that unplanned scientific instrument outages have the potential to stop operations cold. Sometimes for days at a time. In our 25+ years of experience, we have seen time and time again why service contracts are imperative to any laboratory that utilizes complex scientific equipment. Additionally, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will support their devices for a period of time, but what happens when they stop offering support for your specific model? Read on to learn how service contracts create structure and save laboratories money, time, and frustration.

Unplanned instrument outages mean unplanned COSTS.

While it is impossible to plan for surprise instrument outages, you can prepare for the inevitable by working a laboratory service contract into your operating budget. Having a fixed service budget for the year means no surprise instrument charges for a catastrophic failure. By working with a third party lab equipment service provider, you are planning for the unavoidable while also fortifying your recovery and response processes. The cost of one-off instrument repairs can also vary greatly between vendors. Additionally, a service contract alleviates the time it takes to collect estimates from multiple vendors (which is oftentimes required when you are working within a tight operational budget).

Stop missing deadlines with faster response times and quick repairs.

Time truly is money in a lab environment. The time it takes to diagnose and fix a malfunctioning scientific instrument can make or break looming deadlines. When analysis stops, results stop—and this can quickly become extremely problematic for any lab in any industry. A laboratory instrument service contract usually guarantees negotiated response times and scheduled preventative maintenance (PM), both of which are meant to keep lab operations running swimmingly in any scenario. For labs that don’t have instrument technicians in-house, a service contract ensures fast repair times and consistent performance through regular preventative maintenance. Any professional service organization is going to prioritize their contract clients over one-off repair requests too, so having a contract in place always keeps you at “the front of the line,” so to speak.

Malfunctioning scientific instruments can create unreliable results.

Delivering accurate consistent data is the cornerstone of a successful laboratory. There can be a lot riding on the scientific results (for example, pharmaceutical environments where the FDA is involved). Lab managers and chemists alike would agree: scientific instruments are complex machines that require a lot of experience to preserve. A service contract offers timely access to a skilled team of specialized instrument technicians who will help maintain the overall quality of the equipment and its long-term output.

A service contract can take a few things off the lab manager’s shoulders.

Laboratory Service Contract: Lab Manager Job Duties

A lab manager is already overseeing general operations, safety procedures, HR functions (posting jobs, hiring, firing, reviews), equipment scheduling, equipment training, instrument maintenance, ordering supplies, technician scheduling, and more. With that many moving parts to govern, taking time to diagnose and fix malfunctioning scientific equipment is sometimes out of the question. With a service contract in place, all it takes is a quick request and an engineer is on the way, which allows the manager to rearrange the schedule and remain agile in the face of unplanned downtime. These relationships also guarantee that you are not losing business-critical knowledge if the lab manager decides to move on for any reason.

Retire your lab equipment on your time. Don’t be so quick to end-of-life (EOL) expensive scientific instruments.

In many cases, an instrument can last for years and years after an OEM stops supporting it. An instrument service contract helps the organization get the very most out of their capital investments by comfortably stretching those expenditures out over time (which also helps control operational cash flow). The longer you can keep these devices operating at great efficiency, the more you get out of those capital expenditures. Investing in a new instrument comes with a much higher cost than the instrument itself, too. The time it takes to train technicians on how to safely operate the equipment (among other things) is often overlooked. Therefore, keeping existing equipment in top-working order becomes important to most experienced lab managers.

A lab equipment service contract has proven time and time again to be a wise investment.

While there is a cost associated with a third-party lab service contract, it does have the potential to improve the balance sheet by:

  • Extending the longevity of a laboratory’s capital expenditures
  • Adding operational structure to the lab, improving efficiencies and utilization
  • Improving recovery time to minimize costs from instrument downtime
  • Maintaining a high level of instrument accuracy/output

Are you interested in learning more? The team at FSG is ready to answer any questions you have. Contact a member of our sales team today to discuss the different structures that a lab service contract can take for your organization.