Use social media to guide your next lab purchase

Use social media to guide your next lab purchase

Procurement of chemical tools and reagents is a crucial facet of laboratory administration. When finished nicely, it may enormously improve laboratory productiveness. Historically, when a laboratory makes purchases, they have an inclination to depend on printed expertise or protocols. The consumer might have used a chemical from an organization, and if profitable, the lab will proceed to buy it from the identical supply. Printed protocols additionally function a reference supply for informing customers the place to buy laboratory supplies from, and lots of publishers now encourage authors to incorporate data on producers and chemical batch numbers of their Supplies and Strategies part.

With the arrival of social media, it has change into more and more straightforward to seek out and current recommendations, evaluations, and reductions on-line. In actual fact, there’s a vibrant on-line group centered round lab tools and supplies. Right here, we talk about how this group and social media may be leveraged to enhance buying choices.

Product sourcing

It may be troublesome to start out a brand new undertaking or experiment and never have anybody with lab expertise to hunt steering from. Lately, platforms like Twitter and ResearchGate have change into methods researchers can tweet, put up their designs and experimental wants, and search recommendation from extra skilled customers on the place to get uncommon supplies. That is helpful as a result of some supplies or merchandise could also be very particular and are solely produced by much less respected firms. For instance, a researcher might wish to get hold of a plasmid for genetic engineering of cells, however this plasmid will not be shared in main plasmid repositories equivalent to Addgene. An outsider on this scientific discipline wouldn’t know the place to get the particular plasmid from. One other instance is when the corporate decides that Stop The producer and customers might not know the place to get the identical or comparable merchandise, and want recommendation. The benefit of social media is that the velocity at which data spreads may be enormously amplified via likes and shares. This works sooner than chilly emails to colleagues or sending inquiry emails to companies.

Product Feedback

Most researchers agree {that a} important ability to excel in analysis is troubleshooting. It’s because the experiment consists of a number of steps together with materials preparation, tools preparation, and execution, and when any of those steps go flawed, researchers might want to troubleshoot, establish and proper the error. Poorly manufactured tools and chemical substances can result in unreproducible knowledge and fixed frustration. Social media may be a good way for customers to share their good and unhealthy experiences about utilizing tools or supplies from a specific firm. Utilizing key phrases associated to firm, tools, and supplies, social media customers can simply seek for trending and related discussions on these subjects.

That is very true for merchandise equivalent to antibodies, the place not all producers present detailed data on antigen pattern, host species, and interspecific interplay. Much less well-known suppliers may additionally not share high quality evaluation knowledge equivalent to western blots. For that reason, merchandise from these firms are usually cheaper, which can appeal to laboratories with tight budgets. Social media may be helpful for researchers on a good price range to see if different researchers have purchased the cheaper merchandise and if they’ve been profitable.

Product Validation

Most chemical reagents could have batch-to-batch fluctuations. One wonderful instance is Matrigel, which is broadly utilized in biomaterials and stem cell analysis. Biochemical composition and biomechanical properties of Matrigel suffers from batch to batch volatility It resulted in a low degree of copy. Researchers can benefit from social media to put up their issues a few vary of chemical reagents and see if there are others with comparable expertise. This could additionally make it simpler to collaborate collectively, and require firms to pay extra consideration to product validation and supply proof of product evaluation for a specific set of supplies.

If you are not more likely to expertise variance from batch to batch, tools can endure from poor calibration as a consequence of rare upkeep. As soon as once more, social media may be leveraged to verify with different researchers how periodic tools upkeep is finished and what are the very best practices for extending life. For instance, fuel generator filters must be modified after a interval of use relying on the amount of fuel generated and the way steadily the purified nitrogen fuel is produced. Whereas producers might have a really useful filter change schedule, skilled researchers with comparable experimental wants might be able to reply to social media inquiries with extra credibility.

Firm Evaluations­­

For widespread tools and chemical substances, there are various firms promoting the identical product. Moreover the extent to which firms carry out high quality management and high quality evaluation, how they reply to inquiries can also be an essential service. For instance, if one desires to buy a ductless fume hood and assign it to a particular use, can the corporate advise on security measures to be taken and supply proof {that a} ductless fume hood is as protected as a duct hood? Publish-purchase follow-ups are one other main consideration. For instance, if one finds {that a} product will not be performing nicely and supplies suggestions to the corporate, does the corporate reply in a well timed method and what does the corporate do to deal with that concern? Moreover, does the salesperson comply with up often to verify the machine is working nicely? Utilizing social media, researchers can present evaluations of firms and their gross sales representatives, which may go a protracted option to serving to their colleagues.

Sources of reductions

Tools and materials suppliers supply reductions through the festive interval equivalent to Christmas and particular scientific occasions equivalent to mole day (In honor of No. Avogadro). In Singapore, for instance, through the Lunar New 12 months, firms normally supply Discounts With the quantity 8 in it, it’s thought of the fortunate quantity. Many firms have their very own social media pages that searchers can comply with to search for enticing reductions. Furthermore, some firms have additionally began introducing referral codes for searchers to assert reductions. It’s not uncommon to see researchers on social media sharing details about reductions and even referral codes to economize for his or her labs.

Social media is turning into more and more fashionable amongst scientists and its use shouldn’t be restricted to selling science solely. It will also be a superb platform for gathering suggestions, offering and sharing suggestions on tools, chemical substances and corporations, and holding them within the loop for reductions, leading to value financial savings and enhanced lab productiveness.


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