Magazine Article | April 15, 2009

Integrated Service Delivery Turning In Early Gains In Lab Equipment Maintenance

Source: Life Science Leader

By Bernard Tulsi, Life Science Leader magazine

Enveloped by current acute economic stringencies, administrators must strive even harder to reduce costs while boosting the productivity of their laboratories. To facilitate efficiency, managers traditionally tapped into four key equipment service schemes — in-house capabilities, service consolidators, outsourcing to independent service providers, and the OEM service model where the manufacturers service instruments. To be sure, each offers gains and setbacks.

The in-house model provides fast response time and flexibility but incurs higher costs and greater management time. With their actuarial tables, service consolidators can trim costs some 15% to 25% versus other models, but may have quality and convenience shortcomings — linked to their thin operating margins. Outsourcing to independent service providers is the lowest cost option, but drawbacks may include limited competencies, weak QC, parts supplies, and operational capabilities that fall short of needs of large mission-critical laboratories. While the OEM service model offers high quality and low risk, it also brings higher costs, substantial administrative challenges, and longer response times.