Lab vendors are one of the largest parts of a lab’s operating expenses and lab budget. With different vendors offering various features/platforms like e-procurement or marketplace supply purchasing versus punchout, accompanying software, and 24/7 customer support, your team will need to consider what’s important to your scientists.
- Ask for referrals and speak with current users
- Ask for a free trial
- Review available integrations
- Assess compliance
Make sure to involve your lab managers, scientists, finance teams, procurement teams, and legal teams during the vendor review process as different teams will have different needs and requirements.
[Access the free Lab Vendor Selection + Management Template here]
Evaluating Lab Vendors
Evaluating vendors isn’t just for new contracts, it’s important to regularly audit and evaluate existing vendors as well. Here are some considerations for new and existing lab vendors.
- Customer support
- User interface/systems/software + remote accessibility
- Integration with existing systems/vendors
- Availability of supplies
- Feedback from internal users
Creating Contracts with Lab Vendors
When creating contracts, make sure to consult with your legal teams or legal advisors. Consider your lab’s growth and whether you’ll need to make any adjustments to suppliers, equipment providers, service providers, or other vendors in the near future. Negotiating lab vendor contracts can be a challenging process and for newbies, can be intimidating. Clearly outline all responsibilities, audits, expectations, and service guarantees.
Managing Lab Vendors
Once you onboard lab vendors, create a regular internal meeting to evaluate your vendor, provide and receive feedback, and assess ongoing operations. Regular communication and evaluation will help you quickly identify any excess costs, areas for improvement, and areas where you can improve efficiency.
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