The Message that we want to deliver to our customers’ and to all analytical lab users is select wisely your analytical instrument and don’t be in the same situation as Amal
It has been found that customers are too hasty to make a purchase of a high-end analytical instrument without doing a proper diligent on the various suppliers that are being considered. There are certain guidelines that a buyer needs to make sure to check before making their final decision. ProLab Systems suggest the below guidelines that can assist users to make sure that they select the best solution to meet their application needs and lab requirement.
- If you currently have an instrument and would like to purchase a second one. You should first discuss with your supplier or the local agent if you have fully utilized your current instrument to its full potential and if you really need a second instrument. Also, check if it is possible to upgrade the instrument to meet your current needs.
- The end user should not accept any order that is not a full solution which doesn’t meet their application needs and requirement. The end user should include in their PO a clause that states, “a total solution should be provided according to application needs and requirement of the lab request. This will be verified and confirmed during the commission stage”.
- If a manufacturer or their local agent fails to provide a complete working solution, the customer will still have a chance to refuse the order as it is part of the PO condition. This part is what is called Site Acceptance Test (SAT) customer should make their criteria of the SAT to assure that it meets their application and requirement needs.
- The manufacturer or their local agent should provide an unfiltered install base so that the end user can select the site of their choice to contact as a reference for the exact system that they intend to purchase and for the application that the end user wants to perform in his lab.
- AFTER SALES…AFTER SALES… AFTER SALES… service support is one of the most important factors while making the purchase of a high-end analytical instrument of high value.
- The user should always make sure to check the local agent engineers and application specialists’ qualification.
Can the local agent provide application support? What is the value of a new instrument, if at a later stage the end user needs to calibrate or upgrade their system to perform a different application and the local agent can’t perform it? Then the end user would have to pay a high amount to get an expert from the manufacturer to do the work.
- Instrument downtime costs money, it is vital to know the response time for service support as some end users can’t have long downtime of their instrument as it is important for their quality control or research work.
- How to make sure that the offer presented includes all the necessary components, consumables, and accessories that are required to have a fully operational instrument and can perform your application. This is very easily done by requesting a complete solution and this way the end user will not be responsible if some items are missing during the commissioning as it will be the responsibility of the supplier and the local agent.
- Sometimes instrument price is reduced in a tender to win orders. Then after a period of use of the instrument, there might be some service issues that require service. When the end user gets a quote for parts they are shocked as the spare parts price is sky high. The end user should request that the price is fixed for at least 2 years to ensure that all future spare part price is known in advance. This is done during the quoting process and the end user should request the price of the recommended spare part for two years.
- End-user should request the price of the annual service contract and ask who will conduct the preventative maintenance and emergency visits, the local agent or the engineer from the manufacturer.
- The end user should always ask for how long will an instrument be supported by the manufacturer before it is phased out or obsolete. Sometimes you might purchase a system and the following year a successor to the previous system is launched and the phase-out period is short.
- If any of the above steps are not covered properly during the purchase process, the future value of the purchased instrument could be double or triple of the initial value of the purchase.
- Help other users by sending your valuable points to be included in this list. In order to help your colleagues in the analytical field make the best decision when purchasing a new instrument.
Congratulations to Mr. Nagmeddin A Elwaer from Sabic STC Riyadh for winning the first Mazen Competition Series. Below are the valuable points given forwarded by Mr. Nagmeddin A Elwaer
- One of the things that end user should make sure of when buying new instrument, if the vendor have a local warehouse for regular consumables to minimize the time take to order and receive the spare parts they need.
- It is a good practice to get feedback about the instrument you want to buy from companies/laboratories that using the instrument before purchasing.
- Instrument Supplier/ Manufacture, should have a data base of the companies & labs using the instrument available for the end user if they need to get second opinion before buying.
- Instrument Supplier/ Manufacture, should have a data base of the competencies of their application and service engineers available for the end user if they need to check.
- On-line support (remote access) should be available for the end users, if they need immediate support to minimize time for resolving software & application issues.
- An option of onsite visit to the instrument manufacture /supplier to witness full capabilities of the instrument. This will help the buyer “customer” to make the right decision of what to include and what to exclude in the new instrument
These are the few minor details that one should follow before making the purchase. In order to know more about the ZETIUM and its application please CLICK HERE.