Lab Technicians & Lab Managers, Can You Say "Yes" To The Following Questions?

Lab Technicians & Lab Managers, Can You Say "Yes" To The Following Questions?

Lab Technicians & Lab Managers, Can You Say "Yes" To The Following Questions?

Posted on the 14th of Nov 2017 by Westlab

In this article, we are challenging the norms in laboratories, as it is a fast-changing and increasingly creative market, especially in the science education sector. One week is no longer acceptable for delivery and online ordering has become the mainstream versus fax, email, and phone. Speed in response is just a common expectation when problem-solving, obtaining quotes, or even phone response. A great lab manager or technician is on the alert and changing with the times. If you can answer “yes” to the below questions, you are on track to achieve the academic, organisational and budgetary outcomes your organisation expects.

Are you compiling a lab inventory list or do you just duplicate the same list annually?


To put it plainly, simply duplicating previous bulk inventory lists can result in a large amount of wastage as many items are stockpiled on shelves instead of being used effectively in the lab. At Westlab, we have observed laboratories, especially in the education sector, where a change of management has uncovered substantial duplications due to overordering, non-relevant purchases, expired inventory, and outdated technology. Reagents need close attention, also be aware of curriculum and teaching changes that can affect requirements year by year.

WESTLAB TIP: Perform an annual or rolling inventory stocktake, consult with your team regarding creative new requirements and technology.

Are you using a supplier that offers fast turnaround times for general lab equipment or consumables?


Suppliers that are moving with the times will have perfected their delivery methods and understand the importance of speed, especially supplying to lean laboratories that keep lean stocks. It is almost normal in Australia now to receive same day dispatch on every- day basic equipment and consumables. If you are experiencing long waits that exceed 1 week, it is a great idea to look for a new supplier that can offer speed and agility.

WESTLAB TIP: Time your next delivery from the hour of order to the hour of receipt and compare.

Are you using your time effectively when sourcing products from multiple suppliers? Could you consolidate instead of trying to get the best individual prices from each supplier for your bulk order?


This is not only time consuming but can be frustrating as well. You may be looking to get the best deal from each supplier but what about the multiple freight charges? What about the “apples for apples” test? Are you considering ROI or just going in for cheap and nasty? Treat your list like a mini-tender and let your suppliers do the work, send them all a list and get them to quote on your bulk listing. A great supplier system and protocol will be able to get a detailed quotation back to you in 24 hours! Ask about the Westlab LabLaunch package, a free resource that is an essentials list broken into key categories.

WESTLAB TIP: Perform a mini-tender and let the suppliers do the work or use LabLaunch

Do you look outside of your immediate area for quality suppliers or do you ‘support local’ even though they may not be the best choice?


Some laboratory managers and technicians tend to be very parochial in their support for suppliers in their particular state/city/area. You may be limiting yourself, your lab, and your research team/students to some very average suppliers with below par service at the expense of your efficiency and functionality. It is a great idea to see yourself as part of the big picture and if it is beneficial, search countrywide to find a supplier that fits your needs best. Science is a global endeavour, so be broad-minded and do what’s best for you.

WESTLAB TIP: Think wide and see yourself as part of the ‘big scene’

Are you ordering online for convenience and cost savings?


Many laboratory managers and technicians say “we cannot order online due to our policy”, even when they can save $20, $30, $40 dollars or more with the online free delivery! When we speak to their business or financial managers this is often not the case. A number of suppliers will allow you to check out with a purchase order and you can simply put the goods on your 14 or 30-day account “online” without paying by credit card. Online ordering has never been easier, it is just like an email or fax, you can still raise your purchase order, but by taking a few moments to enter it online will not only reduce human error but also give you extra speed, traceability and often free delivery.

WESTLAB TIP: Of course you can order online!

Do you regularly review purchasing contracts or do you just extend them without evaluating them?


Extending an existing contract can be a sign of complacency. As Thomas Edison once said: “We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present”  If you are complacent, your supplier could take advantage of you. It is a great idea to keep on the alert for better sources to ensure you are doing the best for your laboratory and your organisation.

WESTLAB TIP: Move from the defensive to the offensive and take the initiative in your laboratory.

2017-11-14 20:40:00
copyright © 2024 WestLab Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved. - ABN: 71 606 662 113 - Marketing Partner - Brand Surge LLC