Consolidating and Protecting Your Inventory

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Consolidating and Protecting Your Inventory

During the height of the pandemic and over the course of the past few years, many laboratories faced product stock outs and backorders due to the lack of readily available inventory and supply chain instability. In a scramble to continue research and discovery, many labs overpurchased and stocked up from any and all vendors who had products in stock. Fast forward a few years, and supply chains have stabilized, but stockpiles and inventory issues remain. Labs are left with overcrowded stock rooms filled with inconsistent, inadequate and expired products.

Why Consolidate Inventory?

Orderly Stockrooms

Small discrepancies among products are a result of ordering from different vendors and are affecting scientists’ day to day tasks. Using products with slight variations can cause imbalances and skewed lab results. Inadequate products purchased in a pinch can also skew results and may end up creating haphazard stockrooms once the adequate product is received. When multiple products are purchased from various vendors, they become harder to keep track of adding to the clutter and disorganization of stockrooms, eventually filled with expired and lost products.

Consolidating to a single vendor mitigates the risk of discrepancies among products. You know how the product will function every time. Using one supplier can also promote organization within your stockrooms as products can be grouped together rather than grouped together by category then supplier at best. When purchasing through one vendor, it is likely you will have easy access to portals and dashboards to keep better track of what is coming in. Later in this blog, purchasing and procurement options with Marathon will be described to best consolidate and protect your consumables.

Drive Cost Savings

In addition to orderly stockrooms, there are also several financial benefits associated with consolidation. When you purchase higher volumes with a single supplier, the cost per unit often decreases. Placing larger orders at a time and purchasing in bulk can reduce shipping costs, too. Money is saved when you know what you have on hand. Accounting for what is in your stockroom is easier to track when working with a single vendor. Gone are the days of throwing out money when you throw out expired products.

Inventory consolidation leads to fewer financial headaches. When working with a single vendor the number of SKUs reduce. SKU reduction results in less purchase orders, item receipts, bills, and payments to be handled by operations and finance teams. Cashflow forecasting is simplified as you will know exactly when each shipment is to be received, invoiced, and paid.

What to Consider in a Supplier when Consolidating Inventory

Choose a Reliable Partner

The most important part of consolidating your inventory to one vendor, is choosing the right partner. Choose a vendor who you feel confident can support your lab. Marathon has a proven track record of reliability, stability and agility. We have proven we can source products when others cannot, especially through the height of the pandemic. We are extremely proud of this and strive to remain in the forefront of customer’s minds when they think of their go-to supplier post pandemic. Our current reliability and relentless efforts to transition all of our manufacturing to the US will allow us to keep this position.

Because Marathon is a small business, we are very responsive and transparent, and pride ourselves on relentless communications. At Marathon, you will be assigned a sales representative. You will not be waiting for a response from an unmonitored mailbox. Being a small business also allows us to be agile and flexible when it comes to adjusting to customer’s unique needs.

Various Ways to Purchase

When selecting a supplier that works best for you, opt for a partner who makes ordering easy, or who even orders on your behalf to remove any stress related to purchasing. Marathon’s mission is to enable the race for innovation. We have remained loyal to our mission and set several programs in place to provide our customers customizable solutions to help facilitate their innovation. Marathon offers standing orders, bulk purchasing, multiple purchasing platforms, and offsite storage solutions.

Marathon’s standing order program allows customers to receive their shipments on a regular cadence. Standing orders not only allow peace of mind for lab managers as they will know exactly when and what they will receive, but also mitigate any risk of outside factors affecting supply chain, subsequently disrupting your day-to-day operations. Several of Marathon’s portfolio offerings can be purchased in bulk at discounted rates. These items can be found on our website, Fisher Scientific, and Amazon. Marathon’s portfolio is also available on Prendio, if you and interested in a one-stop shop for purchasing.

Versatile Products

Consider a supplier who has versatile products with different features. Marathon offers products that are different but can be used interchangeability in a laboratory setting. This helps reduce the number of SKUs in your stockroom. For example, Marathon’s PCR strips with flat cap have the same qualities as that with a dome cap. You can purchase just one of these products that will be able to serve two unique purposes.

Outsourcing Procurement Solutions

As companies grow and expand, outsourcing has become more popular. Life science companies are in the business of innovation and discovery, not operations. For this reason, Marathon has created a solution to best support lab operations through Marathon Pacer, our vendor managed inventory program. Pacer is a strategic vendor managed inventory (VMI) program developed to provide our customers predictable supply in an unpredictable world. We take the burden off of lab mangers and users by absorbing the day to day ordering, stocking and other procurement tasks.

The first step of Pacer is a full lab reset. In this initial phase of the program, the Pacer team accounts for expired and unnecessary items, tallies products on hand, identifies under-and overstock, reconciles outstanding orders and backorders, re-organizes stockroom and points of use, and maps easier consumable distribution within the lab. Starting with Pacer puts your lab on the right track towards vendor consolidation and seamless operations. Customers will also have complete visibility to available stock, ordering cadence and cashflow on our VMI dashboard.

Off-site Storage Options

Customers who work with Pacer also have the option to take advantage of Marathon’s off-site Storage. Off-site storage allows you to purchase your inventory upfront and store it at our local warehouse. Using pre-established par levels and just in time (JIT) methodologies, Marathon ensures your products are delivered to your lab at the right time. Off-site storage allows your stockrooms and points of use to be organized and lean, while providing peace of mind that your next delivery is on its way. Off-site does not mean out-of-sight.

Next Steps

As detailed in this blog, choosing the right vendor to partner with is the most crucial part of consolidation. Marathon offers several solutions to help consolidate and protect your inventory. Inventory consolidation helps protect the integrity of what you have on hand, reduces stress for several departments across life science companies and improves lab efficiencies. For more information on inventory consolidation and to begin your consolidation process, visit us at MarathonLS.com or email us at info@marathonls.com.

Carbon Footprint: What It is and How You can Help

Carbon Footprint

Carbon Footprint: What It is and How You can Help 

What is Carbon Footprint

You have probably heard of the term “carbon footprint” but what does that actually mean, and is it truly harmful?
Carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that are associated with our actions. Individuals, businesses, and industries alike all produce carbon emissions. An individual’s carbon footprint, for example, could be made up of their commute to work, the food they eat and how that was produced, the amount of and type of electricity they use, what they purchase throughout the day and the clothes they wear. A business’ carbon footprint is more likely to be made up of the electricity to keep the office building running, including electronics in the workplace, and any activities throughout the value chain such as emissions from sourcing, production, logistics and disposal.

Effects of Carbon Footprint

Everyone’s carbon footprint contributes to producing lasting effects to our environment. The emissions we produce can impact climate change, air pollution and the melting of glaciers and polar ice. While climate change is a naturally occurring process, these emissions quicken the process. A negative effect of climate change is the harm it has caused to our environment in the form of unusual and devastating weather events, such as recent wildfires and hurricanes. Since the rise of the industrial revolution, air pollution has continued to worsen. This is mainly due to burning fossil fuels which creates smog, exposing the population to serious health issues ranging from asthma even to cancer.  At this point, we have all seen the photos of polar bears that are skin-and-bone – which is devastating as is, but the more serious concern is the rapid melting of glaciers. Glaciers help to keep the earth’s surface cool. When glaciers melt, there is nothing to keep the earth’s surface cool, causing heat to get trapped in the atmosphere. At Marathon, we are aware and concerned about these issues.


What Marathon is Doing to Decrease our Carbon Footprint

It is inevitable that a business will produce carbon emissions, especially if that business is involved in the production and distribution of goods and services. At Marathon, we are cognizant of the fact that we currently are operating on a global supply chain, which inevitably increases our carbon footprint. Over the last several months, we have implemented policies to move towards net zeroing our carbon footprint. Below are some of our strategic initiatives:
• Transitioning to US manufacturing
• Promoting a green work environment, including recycling and open discussions about green sustainability
• Warehousing locations distributed throughout the country to ensure shorter transit times for product delivery
• Introducing recyclable and re-usable packaging for our products
• Re-sterilizing products to increase their shelf life, eliminating the need to throw out excess product in landfills
• Providing hybrid vehicles to our engineers who travel to different lab locations daily, and carpooling to site visits


How Transitioning to US Manufacturing Reduces Carbon Footprint

Transitioning all of our manufacturing to be US-based is the most significant element we have implemented at Marathon to decrease our carbon footprint. With over 60% of our portfolio already being produced state-side, we have made significant progress towards this goal. Transportation is the largest contributor of carbon emissions in the world, from commuting to air freight. Having all of our products produced in the US drastically minimizes the need to use air freight which causes massive pollution.
To provide a better understanding of the positive impact when shortening the supply chain, here is an example: say a company is shipping containers from China to Boston. The total distance from this shipment by boat and road, is about 15,500 km (via port in Los Angeles). The distance from Los Angeles to Boston is just under 5,000 km via road. In just one container shipment from China to the US, half a ton of CO2 emissions are produced. If this single company ships 10-12 containers per month, that equates to about 6 tons of CO2 per month. To put this into perspective, that is the same amount of emissions as an average household produces in a year. Say the same company continues to produce 10-12 containers per month, but it is produced in Los Angeles with Boston as the final destination. This reduces the geographical difference by over 60%, subsequently decreasing carbon emissions, in one month, by about 60%.


What You can do in Your Day-to-Day Life and in the Workplace

There are many options both big and small that you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. The most significant way an individual can decrease their carbon footprint is by cutting down on transportation emissions. This can be done by switching to electric or hybrid vehicles, using public transportation, carpooling, biking, and avoiding air travel. Other ways in which an individual can reduce their carbon footprint is to use shop second hand, line-dry laundry, opt for the more energy-efficient lighting and electronics, being cognizant about how the food they consume was produced, eating lower on the food chain and recycle when possible. These tips may help you save money, too.
In addition to your day-to-day life, you can decrease your carbon footprint in the workplace and encourage your colleagues to do so as well. At Marathon, we primarily do this by communicating openly about the effects of carbon footprint and what we’re doing to decrease ours as a team. Other ways you can help reduce your carbon footprint at work is by recycling and reducing waste in general, replacing lighting with LED bulbs, promoting virtual meetings, and working from home if/when possible. The best way you can reduce carbon emissions at work is to educate yourself and colleagues about what carbon emissions are, what carbon footprint is, their effects and what you can do collaboratively to decrease yours.

How Marathon LS Ensures Steady and Predictable Supply

Preventative Maintenance

How Marathon LS Ensures Steady and Predictable Supply

Marathon has a reputable history for ensuring a reliable supply chain, which was evident through the height of the pandemic in 2020. Through our exclusive relationships with global manufacturers, we had the ability to source some of the most elusive lab supplies and PPE to keep laboratories up and running. Since then, our devotion to supply chain resilience has remained unwavering.

Over the past year, Marathon has announced initiatives that will further establish our position as an industry leader in supply chain excellence.

US Manufacturing Shortens the Supply Chain

Marathon is leading the industry towards 100% U.S. manufacturing. Marathon has made this commitment for a multitude of reasons – reduction in our carbon footprint, higher quality projects, supporting the American economy, shorter lead times and a more predictable supply chain.

Keeping the entire supply chain of products geographically state-side decreases the amount of time products spend in transit. A significant factor will be the elimination of time that goods spend at the ports. These delays are often the result of several reasons including labor shortages, trade deficits and unforeseen events such as bad weather. On top of this, customs clearance can take up to multiple weeks after products are received in at ports. The result of these challenges could potentially lead to a major disruption of laboratory workflow.

When our customers are doing as critical work as finding cures and solutions to horrible diseases and discovering revolutionary drugs, we must ensure they are getting the proper lab supplies that they need, when they need it – not weeks later.

Marathon Pacer Contributes to a Strong Supply Chain

Earlier this year, Marathon announced its unique Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) program, Marathon Pacer. As an organization within MarathonLS, Marathon Pacer is a strategic inventory management and lab operations program developed to provide our clients predictable supply in an unpredictable world. The Marathon Pacer team strives to develop strategic partnerships with laboratory operations professionals who share our vision for operational excellence and an uninterrupted supply chain. You can read more about Marathon Pacer and its deliverables here.

Pacer ensures predictable supply through established minimum and maximum inventory capacity levels, data-driven forecasting, and offsite storage. The Marathon Pacer team is diligently trained to study trends on your team’s actual usage, so your lab is always operating at par level, mitigating the risk of disruptions to your research due to lack of readily available product.

If your lab is in need of a unique inventory management program tailored to the specific objectives of your lab, please contact us here to schedule a consultation.

Ongoing Supply Chain Solutions

Marathon maintains four warehouses across the U.S. which allow us to deliver on our commitment to in-stock products shipping out within 24 hours of an order. To mitigate shipping delays and long transit durations, our warehouses are strategically spread throughout the country, allowing our customers to receive their laboratory supplies as quickly as possible from the nearest warehouse location. Marathon plans to have full warehouse coverage throughout the continental U.S. by the end of 2025 to support our growing customer base.

Marathon’s operations team members are experts in procurement and logistics, which allows us to offer a standing order program where your products are ordered and delivered at a regular cadence. We understand how important a consistent and reliable supply chain is – especially since we all have struggled through the contrary. For this reason, Marathon keeps a minimum of three months of supply on hand for standing orders, with steady and regular replenishments scheduled.

Here at Marathon, we sincerely value our goals and promises, which is why we have several different avenues available to provide predictable supply as we enable the race for innovation. Learn more here about our programs to best assist your lab.

The Importance of Preventative Maintenance for Lab Equipment

Preventative Maintenance

The Importance of Preventative Maintenance for Lab Equipment

In 2012, billions of dollars and over a decade of ground-breaking Autism research was lost when a freezer malfunctioned at a Harvard-affiliated research center. The freezer held 150 brains, one third of which made up the world’s largest collection of Autism brain samples. As brain samples are extremely difficult and expensive to acquire and maintain, Autism researchers are still making up for the lost samples a decade later. The root of the malfunction was clear- the freezer had not been regularly serviced for preventative maintenance. Unfortunately, when preventative maintenance measures are not routinely performed on lab equipment, these catastrophic losses are not uncommon. Luckily, MarathonLS can support your lab’s preventative maintenance needs. 

What is Preventative Maintenance?

Preventative maintenance is the regular and routine evaluation and repair of an asset to prolong and conserve its lifetime. Preventative maintenance is a common practice among several different industries; transportation, technology, and equipment – you can even view a routine check-up at the doctor as personal preventative maintenance. Preventative maintenance is essentially to combat issues and breakdowns before they occur. It is a critical step in prolonging the life cycle of any integral asset.

Types of Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance, or PM, can include any routine service from cleaning and deep cleaning to repairs and replacement. Marathon offers this entire range.
When a MarathonLS engineer is onsite performing a PM, they will finish the project by cleaning the instrument. If your lab is looking to get an even deeper clean and sanitization, consider scheduling a full lab disinfection with the SteraMist™. Much like your car, lab equipment, too, need oil changes which is why Marathon offers them included in our Preventative Maintenance plan.

Preventative Maintenance with MarathonLS

Preventative maintenance takes minimal effort from lab managers or end users. Simply schedule your annual visit, (or more frequent depending on the lab instrument) and be sure to move products from the instrument beforehand. Preparing for your PM appointment will allow the engineer to be in and out efficiently, so you can get back to your critical research. Preventative maintenance visits are quick – a PM can be less than half hour depending on the instrument and its condition. Before the engineer leaves, they’ll clean the instrument and provide a record of the appointment, so you know when the instrument needs a PM next. If the instrument requires extra labor or new parts, a Marathon team member will follow up with a quote before moving forward with any additional work. Getting your lab equipment routinely serviced can add up in cost, however if you are concerned about the price, rest assured that a routine PM is far less expensive than brand new parts or an instrument replacement. In addition, the most savings and value you are getting with routine PM is peace of mind that your equipment will run seamlessly, and your lab will experience no disruptions.

MarathonLS Service Offerings

In addition to preventative maintenance, MarathonLS also offers other services including, but not limited to full-service contracts, calibration, time and material, lab disinfection and relocation services. You can choose the plan that fits your lab’s needs for optimal uptime and maximum instrument performance. Marathon promises same or next day emergency response time, an extensive spare-parts inventory, relentless communication and has provided over 85 years of laboratory servicing experience. Marathon’s team of engineers are manufactured-trained, meaning that they are experts in their field of service, ensuring your lab receives the highest quality work from those who know best.

Schedule Your Lab Asset’s PM Today

Do not allow something preventative throw off your lab operations’ objectives.
Is it time for your equipment to be serviced? Contact MarathonLS today to book your service.

Vendor Managed Inventory – Predictable Supply in an Unpredictable World

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Vendor Managed Inventory – Predictable Supply in an Unpredictable World

In our previous blog, we highlighted MarathonLS’ commitment to transitioning to U.S. manufacturing, which will result in: enhanced quality, shorter lead-times, and overall product consistency and reliability. A recurring and concerning theme for our customers over the last few years was the instability of global supply chain. External threats such as economic volatility, trade wars, labor shortages and transportation and logistical interruptions has created much uncertainty for our Pharma and Biotech customers. Marathon understands that our customers cannot risk any disruptions to their critical research and development by not having access to the vital lab supplies that they require.

At Marathon, we strive to be the best possible partner for our customers which is why we have coupled our transition to US Manufacturing with the introduction of Marathon Pacer, your lab operation’s procurement partner.

What is Marathon Pacer?

As an organization within MarathonLS, Marathon Pacer is a strategic inventory management and lab operations program developed to provide our clients predictable supply in an unpredictable world. The Marathon Pacer team strives to develop strategic partnerships with laboratory operations professionals who share our vision for operational excellence and an uninterrupted supply chain.

Program Capabilities

Pacer is based on a Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) model where a Marathon specialist organizes, orders, and replenishes stock, while analyzing and reacting to usage trends to ensure optimal productivity within your lab.  It is a personalized service designed to ensure your lab does not skip a step in its race towards innovation.

The Pacer Process

Pacer is broken up into three phases; reset, optimize, and keep pace.

Upon initial engagement with Pacer, a Marathon specialist- Pacer Coordinator- will clear out discontinued and expired products and organize stock rooms and points of use. All products are then counted and tallied. The Pacer Coordinator collaborates with end users to see what products need to be replenished and which are not currently in use.

Based on data-driven trends, minimum and maximum inventory levels will be set using just in time (JIT) inventory management, so stockrooms are optimally stocked. Minimum and maximum levels will be agreed upon and refined over time based on your lab’s actual use.

The Pacer Coordinator continues to provide weekly inventory counts and will purchase and replenish on your behalf of both Marathon and non-Marathon products based on the set par levels. They will not only coordinate with lab end users on items that need to be added and removed from the common stock list, but also hold regular, unobtrusive meetings with department heads to anticipate usage and any evolving factors which may impact demand.

The diagram below outlines this process.

process
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Pacer Deliverables

Pacer does not stop inside the walls of your lab. When signing on for Pacer, you will also receive proper reporting to analyze the work and its success within your lab.  After 90 days onsite, you will receive an Operational Analysis Report detailing initial findings, risk mitigation, benefits and values, challenges and opportunities, our recommendations, a space analysis that includes a floor plan presenting where products can be found, and much more. This will also include appendices detailing historical inventory usage trends by item number.

The Bottom Line

MarathonLS is committed to providing predicable supply and in an unpredictable world as our goal is to eliminate the need for your lab managers and end users to spend time on inventory management activities. You will no longer have to navigate through crowded and disorganized storerooms so you can focus on core competencies and have in-stock products ready to be used without the fear of running out.

On the Horizon…

As Pacer grows and improves, we hope to develop it into a flawless, automated process and expand outside of the Boson area. Pacer coupled with our transition to US manufacturing will ensure a steady, reliable supply chain.

Is your lab ready for Pacer? Contact us today to learn more.

 

MarathonLS is Leading the Industry Towards 100% US Manufactured Lab Consumables

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MarathonLS is Leading the Industry Towards 100% US Manufactured Lab Consumables

Manufacturers of automobiles, semiconductors, defense, and pharmaceuticals are embracing a new strategy as these industries are leading the resurgence of regaining some of the manufacturing output they were forced to relinquish to other countries during the past decade. Since the pandemic began, efforts to relocate manufacturing have accelerated within several US industries.

We recently wrote about how laboratories can overcome supply shortages by outsourcing laboratory supplies. In this blog we want to highlight one of the key criteria in the decision-making process when evaluating an outsourced supplier: the manufacturing location.

Several years of dependence on offshore factories has been overturned by delays, surging freight rates, and overwhelmed ports. Furthermore, challenges of obtaining raw material and products in a timely manner has convinced organizations to reevaluate how to manufacture their supply.

Why has Marathon made it our mission to commit to US manufacturing?

Mitigating the impact of geopolitical uncertainties with global supply chain

Over the last two years, US manufacturers have witnessed several disruptions within their operating environments that resulted in increased complexity, higher costs, and inefficiencies throughout their supply chains. External threats such as tariffs, global sanctions and disrupted access to suppliers have brought global supply chain practices to its knees and continue to remain at a heightened level of volatility. In addition, unforeseen military emergencies have affected several trade routes and key shipping channels which has resulted in increase costs of raw materials and logistics.

MarathonLS is confident that we can mitigate supply chain risks by localizing and reshoring parts of our manufacturing. We are committed to continuing to stabilize our supply chain to ensure that our customers do not face any disruptions to the critical projects and research that they are conducting inside of their labs.

More control over quality

At Marathon, quality product is standard for us. Over the years, we have built strong relationships with our offshore suppliers that have resulted in consistent quality across our portfolio. However, due to recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, maintaining such high standards has proven itself to be more difficult. In order to consistently meet our quality standard and quick turn-around, we know that we must bring manufacturing back to the US.

Not only will this allow us to have more control over the quality of our products, but also have stronger communication throughout our supply chain.  Ease of communication will allow us to stop problems before they start. If there are quality control issues, we have the ability to see it first-hand rather than after it gets in the hands of our customers.

Shorter lead-times

When working with offshore manufacturers, there are certain aspects throughout production that are out of the supplier’s control; hold-ups at the port, transportation issues, high tariffs, surcharges and what seems like ever-present shortages. In turn, these can detrimentally impact the end user and disrupt or pause their work. When supporting an industry as pivotal as life sciences, this simply can not happen.

Transitioning manufacturing to the US will help eliminate these challenges while providing great benefits. When working with domestic manufacturing, there are fewer barriers to entry; culturally, logistically, and monetarily. There are no hold ups at the ports, there is less risk of staffing issues, if borders shut down, our supply chain will not be directly affected, and simply due to distance, products can be moved faster. We are confident that transitioning manufacturing back to the US will mitigate several disruptions throughout the supply chain, guiding us towards shorter lead times allowing us to focus on our customers’ critical needs.

Reduction in storage costs by eliminating the need to stockpile

It is evident that many of our customers, and members of other industries, have had to maintain significant inventory on hand to meet their needs in fear that they will run out of product due to supply chain issues and shortages. As we move manufacturing onshore, we can provide our customers with the confidence of a secure and steady supply chain. Having a reliable supply chain will alleviate the need to hold excess inventory, therefore, freeing up precious space and eliminating the need to pay for surplus warehousing.

In addition, transitioning our manufacturing state-side will eliminate many of our costs such as tariffs on imports and gas surcharges. This will allow us to offset some of our own expenses as manufacturing in the US is fundamentally more expensive than overseas. Along with optimizing procurement, transitioning to the US may positively impact our customer’s bottom line, too, as a reliable supply chain may reduce carrying costs of their own.

More to come…

Watch this space as we are in the process of unfolding an innovative program exclusively for our customers that will address some of the challenges we have highlighted above.

Why choose MarathonLS?

At the core, Marathon’s strategic mission to transition to US manufacturing is to ensure our customers can always rely on us for quality products, which are reliable and accessible so that their labs can continue to focus on innovation.

Contact MarathonLS, and let’s talk about how we can support your laboratory.

 

Overcoming Unprecedented Times by Outsourcing Laboratory Supplies

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Overcoming Unprecedented Times by Outsourcing Laboratory Supplies

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused laboratory supply shortages all around the world. As the demand for tests and vaccines has skyrocketed, labs have found it more difficult to get hold of supplies. Anything plastic, as well as any form of cold storage, has become a rare and expensive commodity in the scientific community.

If your laboratory has been struggling to find the tools it needs to keep up, you’re not alone. More and more laboratories are outsourcing their laboratory supplies, freeing up time and resources for their vital work.

Do you want easier access to the supplies your laboratory needs? Keep reading, and we’ll tell you how outsourcing can help you stay on track in these unprecedented times.

Why Outsource Laboratory Supplies?

At first glance, outsourcing may seem like a risky prospect. Can you really trust an external supplier to deliver the goods and services you need?

For businesses across the world, the answer is an enthusiastic yes! Here are a few of the benefits outsourcing supplies can bring to your laboratory.

Cost Efficiency

For laboratories operating within strict funding constraints, cost management is critical. The shortages caused by the pandemic have led to spiraling costs, jeopardizing research and career milestones for scientists everywhere.

A third-party laboratory supplier can help by negotiating lower prices for your supplies. Suppliers know and understand the market and can bring that knowledge to bear during procurement. That means lower costs for your laboratory without any compromise on the quality of supplies.

Time Efficiency

Sourcing laboratory supplies can take time. You need to research to find the best products for your lab, then investigate the best supplier – and that’s all before you actually place the order.

When you outsource, you hand over all that work to a company that understands the industry. They’re equipped to find what you need quickly and efficiently. Your laboratory will enjoy shorter lead times on supply delivery, even with the pandemic putting pressure on supply chains.

Data and Insight

A third-party supplier can offer valuable data on supply chains, as well as insight into what the data means. Your laboratory can use that information to stay ahead of any problems in supply. That means you can plan ahead to accommodate potential shortages or delays.

Working with a supplier will enable your laboratory to hit targets and meet client demands with confidence. You can stay ahead of changing market conditions and use that advantage to get ahead of any competition.

Long-Term Maintenance

You depend on your equipment to deliver results, and keeping maintenance and repairs in-house can be more cost effective. The right supplier will not only find equipment for you at a great price – they’ll help you maintain and repair it over time.

A contract for repairs and preventative maintenance can maximize your equipment’s uptime. It’s an easy way to increase your laboratory’s efficiency.

What to Consider When Outsourcing

As you can see, outsourcing comes with a wealth of benefits for any laboratory. But working with the wrong provider can introduce new problems. How can you make sure you find the right supplier for your needs?

Here are some important factors to consider as you outsource your laboratory supplies.

Experience

Whatever your laboratory does, you need a supply company that understands. Whether it’s manufacturing, testing, or research, the right supplier will know your industry inside-out.

That experience is key to providing you with the efficient service you need, from timely deliveries to high-quality equipment. Make sure you choose a supplier with proven success in your field.

Quality

Supplies are the lifeblood of a laboratory. Unfortunately, some suppliers will try to cut corners by using wide-specification replacement parts instead of the specific parts and supplies you need. While this can save money in the short term, it will create long-term problems for your lab.

Look for a service provider with a commitment to quality. It may cost a little more, but the results you can deliver will be worth it.

Reliability

Even in 2022, the pandemic continues to disrupt global supply chains. You need a supplier whose systems are resilient enough to handle upheaval.

You should look for a supplier with a proven track record of delivering on time. They should be able to get repair technicians out to you promptly if you need them, and they should be able to honor any commitments they make.

Cost

There are two major factors in determining the cost of lab services. One is the direct cost of laboratory supplies and maintenance. The other is the indirect costs incurred by equipment downtime, shipping delays, and other factors which can slow productivity in a lab.

Usually, spending more money up-front means savings in the long term. Higher quality equipment and more reliable maintenance services will offset the risks of downtime and delay.

But each laboratory has its own budget, and you need to find a supplier that will balance up-front costs with your long-term maintenance needs. 

Finding the Right Supplier

As you search for the right partner to outsource laboratory supplies, why not consider MarathonLS?

We offer an amazing range of quality laboratory products; all delivered to you via our stable, reliable supply chain. We also offer lab services, including repair and preventative maintenance, so you won’t be caught off-guard by unexpected downtime. All our plans have flexibility built-in, so you can tailor our services to your laboratory’s needs.

Most importantly, communication is at the heart of everything we do. You’ll always know what to expect from our services, and we’ll never leave you wondering where we are.

Contact MarathonLS, and let’s talk about what we can do for your laboratory.

 

The Uses of Centrifuge Tubes: Things to Consider When Purchasing Centrifuge Tubes

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The Uses of Centrifuge Tubes: Things to Consider When Purchasing Centrifuge Tubes

Centrifuge tubes differ from regular test tubes and are explicitly for centrifugation. Centrifugation is when you spin liquids at high speeds to separate their components. Centrifuge tubes are essential to this process.

But what goes into purchasing centrifuge tubes? Is it as simple as choosing sterile tubes and going on about your day? There are various considerations to account for when purchasing centrifuge tubes.

For example, you can choose glass or plastic centrifuge tubes. In this article, you’ll learn more about the different kinds of centrifuge tubes and what you should consider before purchasing them.

Uses of Centrifuge Tubes

Centrifuge tubes are used to separate a substance into its components. Below are a few examples of fields that use centrifuge tubes.

Instrument Longevity

Certain laboratory instruments are sensitive to contaminants. Mass spectrometers and high-pressure chromatography units may become clogged by extraneous materials that find their way into these machines.

These instruments work by injecting small samples of material through columns. Next, the analytes are separated from the samples, which are then studied via specialized software.

Centrifuge tubes are important to prevent laboratory instruments from being clogged. The idea is to use these tubes to keep analytes separate from any potential substances that could interfere with test samples.

Medical Samples

Bloodwork is probably what comes to mind when discussing centrifuge tubes. Centrifugation separates organelles from blood cells as the latter sinks. Centrifugation also enables DNA and RNA extraction from cells.

Sample Processing

Sometimes, a contaminant can find its way inside a sample that needs analyzing. The goal of sample processing is to remove that contaminant so the sample can be properly studied. This is where centrifugation is key.

The centrifugal process separates the sample from the contaminant which leaves a viable specimen to study. To further separate the two substances, the analyst may remove the liquid sample from the tube with a pipet.

What To Consider When Buying Centrifuge Tubes?

There are many factors to account for when purchasing centrifuge tubes. Tubes differ in their performance, and it’s up to you to decide which factors make the best tube for your needs. Here are a few considerations when choosing your centrifuge tubes.

Chemical Resistance

Material type matters a lot when talking about how resistant a tube is to certain chemicals. You should absolutely consider what kind of chemicals you’re working with and make sure the tube can withstand the substance.

Polypropylene (PP) is a popular material because it can hold up against high speeds and is resistant to most organic solvents. However, it’s still a good idea to check your PP tubes’ resistance before use.

Relative Centrifugal Force

There’s a maximum speed at which a centrifuge tube can spin. Each brand can vary wildly between how much speed they can withstand, which is why choosing the right tubes is essential.

Look at the relative centrifugal force (RCF) to determine what speed you can spin a particular tube. The RCF is the gravitational force applied when operating a centrifuge. RCF can factor into a centrifuge tube’s pricing.

It may sound like rotation per minute (RPM) would be the feature you’d look at when deciding what kind of tube to buy. But RPM only measures rotor speed. Too much gravitational force can damage an ill-suited tube.

When buying tubes, it’s easier to budget if you figure out what RCF speeds you need first. You can purchase centrifuge tubes with low RCF ratings if you’re not working with high speeds

Glass Vs. Plastic

Glass may be the better option to ensure you’re working with sterile tubes because the material is easier to clean after. Plastic isn’t difficult to clean but is harder to sterilize. Glass is also a safer alternative for containing corrosive metals. Glass centrifuge tubes are rare to come across.

Glass can hold up better against hotter temperatures but has disadvantages compared to plastic. Plastic is more durable and less expensive. You won’t find glass tubes in small enough sizes for microcentrifuges either.

Volume

When purchasing centrifuge tubes, the final thing to consider is how much you’ll need to fill them. Most times, you’ll only fill a centrifuge tube three-fourths of the way. Overfilling a tube can cause leaking.

Ultracentrifuge tubes are an exception. These centrifuges spin at very high speeds, and the tubes need to be filled to the top to avoid collapsing. You must take care not to underfill tubes either.

The best way to know your tube’s volume requirement is to read the manufacturer’s specifications. There’s still a potential issue, though. Just because your tube is the right volume doesn’t mean it’ll fit the centrifuge.

A centrifuge tube may meet your qualifications but not fit the centrifuge rotor capacity. You can overcome this issue by purchasing a rotor adapter. Most manufacturers have adapters, so finding one shouldn’t be too difficult.

Find Sterile Tubes For Your Centrifugal Needs!

Centrifugal tubes primarily come in plastic and glass. From there, you can choose between self-standing and conical tubes and reusable or disposable tubes. Glass tubes are easier to clean but are less durable.

Plastic centrifuge tubes are more difficult to clean but come in various sizes. If you’re looking to purchase quality centrifuge tubes, consider what material works best for your purposes.

If you need sterile centrifuge tubes or other laboratory tools, then contact MarathonLS. We can assist with any supply-related questions and provide all your lab and safety gear. 

 

Upsurge in Outsourcing Laboratory Supplies During the Pandemic

Lab Supplies

Upsurge in Outsourcing Laboratory Supplies During the Pandemic

Laboratories around the world are facing shortages of laboratory supplies. Increased demand for tests and other lab services puts pressure on labs, forcing scientists to complete more analyses in less time. These stresses occur in an environment with more safety protocols and personnel restrictions. Is your lab one of the many looking for better ways to access supplies? Would you like more time to conduct tests, analyses, and experiments? Outsourcing laboratory supplies and services could be the solution. Find out more about how outsourcing can benefit your lab. You’ll also learn how to find the right laboratory supply company.

What Types of Laboratory Supplies and Services Can Be Outsourced?

Laboratory outsourcing is when a laboratory hires a third-party company. The external company performs services associated with the in-house lab. You give responsibility for some part of your lab’s work to someone else. You can outsource a range of supplies and services, including:
  • Laboratory consumables, like test tubes, cuvettes, Petri dishes, and reagents
  • Equipment calibration
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Installation and operational qualification
Outsourcing is a key tool that can help your lab meet the needs of your stakeholders.

Benefits of Supply Chain Outsourcing for Labs

Supply chain outsourcing brings many benefits to your laboratory. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of a reliable supply chain. Outsourcing is one way to avoid the supply chain issues that resulted from the pandemic. The right laboratory supply company helps ensure you have the supplies you need. Your ability to meet your clients’ demands improves. Third-party suppliers are better equipped to adapt to changing market conditions. They have the expertise to help you scale production. You’re able to meet the fluctuating demands of your customers. The right laboratory supply company can give you better security and visibility. You have more data on:
  • Compliance
  • Quality
  • Lead times
  • Inventory levels
You can work with your third-party partner, like MarathonLS, to prepare for audits and reduce lead times.

Benefits of Laboratory Services Outsourcing

Outsourcing services gives your lab several benefits. You can outsource equipment calibration, qualification, repair, and maintenance services. Outsourcing some laboratory operations lets your scientists and technicians focus on higher-value tasks. You can save money and save time. Outsourcing lab services can make your lab more productive. You can give your clients better service and performance.

Calibration

Calibrating your laboratory instruments ensures that they perform correctly. It helps you get the most accurate results. Some instruments may need calibration every day. This process is extremely important but also time-consuming. Outsourcing calibration means your staff has more time for other important tasks.

Equipment Repair, Maintenance, and Preventive Maintenance

You depend on your equipment. You need it to give your clients the highest quality service and results. Keeping your laboratory equipment and supplies working properly is essential. You can make a contract with a service provider for repairs. You can also make a contract for maintenance and/or preventive maintenance. It maximizes uptime and reduces equipment malfunctions. You gain confidence that you won’t needlessly put experiments or samples at risk.

How to Choose a Provider for Your Laboratory Supplies and Services

Outsourcing your lab supplies and services can bring you many benefits. However, the wrong provider can cause more problems than it solves. Factors to consider include the provider’s experience, expertise, and reliability. You must find the right balance between uptime requirements and the cost of services.

Experience and Expertise

You want a laboratory supply company with experience and expertise in your industry. Repair and maintenance technicians should have an in-depth knowledge of your equipment. An experienced services provider is more likely to give you higher quality results. You get more efficient service.

Delivery Process and Service Commitment

Supply shortages and uncertain conditions continue for life sciences laboratories. You need a research laboratory supply company whose supply chain is up to the challenge. Look for a provider with a record of secure and on-time shipping. When your equipment needs repairs, you want a provider who will be there on schedule. You don’t want to wait for parts on backorder or technicians who arrive late. You expect reliability in the delivery of laboratory supplies and services. It helps you give your clients the quality they need.

Quality of Supplies and Service

You need supplies that meet the demands of your lab operations. You need quality repairs and maintenance of your equipment. Using wide specification replacement parts to save money can compromise your precision. The consequences for your lab’s reputation could be severe. Look for a service provider committed to quality in their products and services.

Total Cost

The cost of lab supplies and services is an important factor when choosing a provider. However, you need to take direct and indirect costs into account. Direct costs are the money that your lab pays for services. Indirect costs include factors like how downtime affects your performance and bottom line. Losing a day is a major issue if you have an analytical lab with thousands of samples to process daily. Paying for a service plan with priority support is probably worth the cost. A lower-tier plan might be more cost-effective if your lab processes fewer samples.

Why Choose Marathon Life Sciences

MarathonLS is ready to be your partner for laboratory supplies and outsourcing services. We offer a wide range of high-quality products. Our service plans have flexible options you can tailor for your needs. We prioritize client communication, so you always know what to expect. You can count on our stable supply chain to get the supplies you need when you need them. Partnering with us for your lab services will give you more uptime. You’ll maximize your instrument performance.

Contact us today to discuss your requirements and find the best solution.

The Differences Between Robotic Tips, Pipette Tips, and Serological Pipets

Pipette tips

The Differences Between Robotic Tips, Pipette Tips, and Serological Pipets

Pipettes are one of the most basic and most important pieces of equipment in a lab. Did you know that the wrong pipette tip can cause up to a 50% error within lab results? Using the wrong tip not only leads to inaccurate results but also contamination and improper aspiration due to a poor seal.

Here we will take you through the differences between robotic tips, pipette tips, and serological pipets so that you will know which tips are right for what you need to accomplish.

What Are Pipettes?

Pipettes are tools used in lab and hospital settings. The primary function of a pipette is to carry and measure volumes of liquids. This allows scientists and lab technicians to safely transfer liquids. Pipettes allow individuals to measure liquids in a controlled and standardized way, without putting the user at risk to exposure. Pipettes also minimizes errors such as volume loss within a sample. Most tips utilize hydrophobic materials that ensures that all liquid transfer out of the pipette. Low retention is important when maintaining a specific volume for a test.

Pipettes range from simple droppers to finely calibrated machines that can take up tiny amounts of samples. This means that there is a vast range of pipette tip sizes to handle just about any volume needed, which makes pipettes a versatile tool in the lab. Pipets are slightly different from pipettes. They are long glass or plastic tubes that require a pipe-aid to create the suction force to take up volumes of liquids. Although these two tools differ slightly, both are equally important.

Different Uses of Pipettes

There is a broad range of situations that pipettes can be used for, which require different types of pipette tips. Usually, pipettes are used in tests such as cell cultures, working with DNA and RNA samples, or when sterility is a high priority. Pipette tips come with different features such as long, short, or wide opening tips. These attributes allow the handler to reach the bottom of a long test tube, allow for easier manoeuvring, as well as careful handling of fragile cells. The body of the pipette draws up controlled amounts of liquid through vacuum suction. These liquids stay in the tip portion of the pipette which is disposable.

Filtered and Unfiltered Pipette Tips

Filtered pipette tips are disposable. They’re made from high-quality plastic that allows smooth transfer of liquids. These tips prevent contamination, as well as keep the liquids from aspirating into the barrel. Filtered tips are also good for training new lab members. The filter is at the back of the tip where it connects to the pipette. It maintains a line of defence between the substance and the pipette by keeping the liquid behind the filter. Unfiltered tips have no barrier to prevent contamination. Tips like these excel in situations that are at lower risk for creating aerosols into the lower part of the pipette. You shouldn’t use unfiltered tips as a training device and only use with well-controlled samples that aren’t at risk for aerosolization.

Robotic Tips

Robotic pipette tips are used in situations where the handling process of a liquid is automated. Robotic tips are generally made of plastic and come in a cartridge with tips from sets of 96 up to sets of 384 tips, depending on your needs. Robotic pipette tips are usually made for nano or microliter volumes, with a high number of samples used. These tips come in either filtered or unfiltered tips, making them versatile for testing situations that require a high number of samples.

Robotic tips are used when there is a repetitive need for liquids at measured volumes, making hand pipetting tedious and impractical. By delegating the robotic module to take on the time-consuming task of pipetting liquids, robotic pipetting can save time and money within a lab.

Serological Pipets

Serological pipets are one of the most versatile pipets and have many uses within the lab. They can be used to transfer liquids, mix solutions, and layer reagents with different densities. Serological pipets can come in disposable plastic and glass, as well as autoclavable glass. Being able to sterilize the pipets can help reduce reoccurring costs within the lab, especially if the test doesn’t need to be free of all contaminants. Serological pipets usually come with gradation marks on the sides for accurate measurements and come in a range of sizes, usually 1mL up to 100 mL. These pipets are made from materials that will hold sensitive samples neutrally, such as cells, bacteria, and other biological substances that may be sensitive to chemical interactions.

Choosing the Right Tips Help Reduce Errors

When looking for the right pipette tips for your needs, you should first decide how large you need the tips to be. Whether you need reusable or disposable tips will help you decide what material to go with. You should make sure that the tips you have are compatible with the pipettes in your lab so that a close seal can be made. This will ensure that there is complete vacuum suction for the most accurate measurements.

Ensuring that there is proper training within the lab can greatly reduce errors and create more consistent results. Proper preparation of the pipet, pressure techniques, angles of suction, and taking your time can help lead to higher quality results.

Find the Right Pipette Tips for Whatever You Need!

Remember, there are many different options when it comes to choosing pipette tips. Pipettes are an integral part of the experimentation and testing process, one that any lab can’t do without.

Whether you need filtered tips, robotic tips, or serological pipets we have you covered.

Click here and find out why MarathonLS is the best when it comes to your lab needs today!