Any educational institution will need laboratory equipment for its science laboratories. They include beakers, glass wares, flasks, microscopes, magnifying glasses, lenses, and gloves among others. Science equipment help in the validation of theories learned in class and give the learners a practical feel of what they have been learning. They also help the students to research and develop new ideas and concepts. These educational equipment are readily available in the market, but you’ll need a reliable supplier to make purchases every now and then.
Here are five tips that can help when looking for a scientific instruments supplier for your college/institute;
- Know the specific needs of the laboratory
Though there are general suppliers for all kinds of laboratory equipment, there may be some that are only stocked by certain suppliers. For example, some suppliers may only stock Physics lab equipment or Chemistry lab equipment. It will be much easier to shop around for a supplier when you know what you are looking for. Knowing what your institution’s laboratory needs also helps as you can ask for quotations from suppliers and compare prices. Engage your laboratory technician to come up with a list of what is needed.
- Total costs involved
Some suppliers may price their equipment cheaply, but then other costs such as transportation could make the amount higher than you think. As an institution, you will not always have a large budget at your disposal. Consider the overall cost of purchasing from a given supplier before settling on one. Remember to also ask if any breakages during transportation are catered for by the supplier or you’ll replace them at your own cost. Knowing the total cost beforehand helps to budget appropriately for the purchases.
- The supplier’s reputation
As an institution, you should only work with people of good repute. This ensures that you only buy from a supplier who will give you quality equipment. You can ask neighboring institutions to recommend suppliers they’ve been working with. Alternatively, ask the suppliers to give referrals from previous clients before they are awarded the tender to supply your laboratory with equipment. You can also use online directories to look for reviews about the suppliers. Check also for their licensing and certification, if any.
- After-sale services
Does the purchase of equipment come with a certain warranty, for example, replacement if you have accidental breakages within a given period? Or does the supplier offer expert installation services for equipment that will need to be installed? These are important factors to consider when choosing a supplier.
- Excellent customer service
Most people overlook this, but it is an important factor to consider especially if you are looking to build a long-term mutual relationship. A supplier with good customer service will ensure that they are always reachable and that deliveries are made on time. This will help in avoiding unnecessary inconveniences. Suppliers with good customer service are also likely to offer you loyalty discounts, saving the institution some money. You need to feel valued as a customer.
So, next time when you think of buying scientific instruments, consider checking the aforementioned points to deal in the best way.