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Consider the hidden costs of your service contract

Picture of Alex Henderson

Alex Henderson

Aston Business School graduate who has been the Managing Director of Henderson Biomedical since January 2015. Passionate about helping laboratories keep their vital equipment operational and compliant. Architecture enthusiast, fitness fanatic and dog lover!

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Regularly servicing your laboratory equipment is crucial in not only prolonging the life of your instrument but also in protecting the user from a potentially lethal electrical or mechanical fault. Many laboratories use expert companies such as us to maintain their laboratory equipment and also offer technical advice.

In a bid to try and save money, many laboratories (particularly those in the public sector) only compare the cost of the contract premium when deciding on which service provider to use. In actual fact, the annual contract premium only makes up a small part of the overall cost of keeping a laboratory running.

As an example, if a laboratory has three centrifuges, two refrigerators, two safety cabinets and one autoclave, then their premium will amount to several hundreds of pounds for the year. They might choose to go with another service provider who has a slightly lower premium and thus appears to be ‘cheaper’ on paper. Indeed, this ‘cheaper’ service company may not have the required UKAS accreditation and may not be SAFE Contractor approved or even ISO 9000 accredited, but in the end, the bottom line cost is king.

The ‘cheaper’ service company will quite possibly offer a lower level of service and this will lead to customer dissatisfaction. For example, the ‘low-cost’ service company could fail to repair some of the instruments, falsely advise that they are uneconomical to repair or carry out expensive repairs because they have failed to diagnose the fault easily or do not have the parts.

It is also not unheard of for a customer to end up paying thousands of pounds on new capital equipment that need not be replaced.

Henderson Biomedical has been servicing laboratory equipment for nearly 30 years. This experience allows us to expertly assess your laboratory equipment and only replace the unit if it is absolutely necessary. We can repair your equipment at minimal expense and sometimes even predict future faults.

Of course, every situation is different, but here is a rough idea of how a so-called ‘cheaper’ and less competent service company bills you, compared to how a responsible service company such as Henderson Biomedical will bill you:


Lab equipment servicing


From the graphic above, you can clearly see that the bad service company will entice you with a low premium and then will likely take several attempts to repair an instrument before giving up and advising you to purchase a replacement piece of equipment.

A good service company will be up front about the true maintenance labour costs. Repairs are then carried out efficiently, with the correct required parts being sourced. Naturally, there may be situations where a piece of equipment is beyond repair, but you can trust us to only ever advise replacing the unit if it is truly uneconomical for you.

In short, it is important for laboratories to not be so short sighted when decided on which service provider to use. It is not all about the bottom line contract premium, but the true cost over the year, adding spare parts and repair bills. In truth, few customers analyse their costs in such detail, but if they did, they may be in for a surprise.

Indeed, over the years, we have seen customers choosing to no longer use our services in a bid to save money on their contract premium, only to come back to us the following year. Often the poor level of service and the hidden costs of their ‘cheaper’ service provider puts them off renewing and so they invariably come back to using Henderson Biomedical.

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Laboratory equipment maintenance, repair, calibration and sales.

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