FULLERTON, Calif.—Seeingan opportunity for new business and a way to increase customer satisfaction,Beckman Coulter in January entered the multivendor laboratory equipmentservices market with a new asset management program called SiteMAX AssetManagement Solutions.
With this comprehensive instrument maintenance and serviceprogram, Beckman Coulter plans to assume service ownership and maintenanceexpense risk for customers' laboratory equipment while providing costreductions in the range of 10 percent to 20 percent over historical servicespending.
"We can reduce the time folks spend on servicing andmaintaining their equipment so that they can spend that time on things likediscovery instead," says Craig Cole, strategic operations manager for BeckmanCoulter.
According to Beckman Coulter's announcement of the program,SiteMAX will provide customers with a dedicated, onsite Beckman Coulter team thatwill manage and schedule all routine and emergency service events. The serviceteams will also focus on improving lab and researcher productivity throughvarious activities.
"The growing range and complexity of lab instruments in usetoday present critical management challenges," explains Robert Kleinert,executive vice president for Beckman Coulter. "Customers want to minimizedowntime, get the quickest and most cost-effective service and gatherinformation to make better-informed decisions."
The biggest challenge that faces Beckman Coulter in providingtop-notch service is that a program like SiteMAX has to address the uniqueneeds of each customer and each site, Cole notes. There is no template orcookie-cutter approach. He says that the company's long experience in theindustry helps mitigate this challenge. More specific preparation, he says, hasincluded realignment of some personnel, development of many new procedures andprocess documents, and a substantial investment in a customized "best in class"IT structure to support the program.
In addition to all that, it helps that Beckman Coulter hasalready been doing this kind of work for years. Ten years, in fact, Cole notes,though this is the first time the program has been officially commercialized.
"The program was offered opportunistically before," Coleexplains. "Now it has gone through a full-scale development for a broad-basedlaunch."
One longtime user of the service, Dow AgroSciences LLC,agrees that Beckman Coulter has made possible for researchers to spend moretime on science rather than dealing with equipment maintenance and performance.Dow AgroSciences' director of site operations, Tom Lingafelter, adds: "Duringour more than 10 years of service management history with Beckman Coulter, theonsite manager and his team have developed strong relationships with our labpersonnel and understand our workflow and processes, enabling them to provideexpert advice and service."
Even though Beckman Coulter is assuming the risks involvedwith managing lab equipment, the company doesn't see the effort itself as arisk—only as a series of opportunities. "The payoffs for us are a growth opportunity forBeckman Coulter, as the market seems to be increasingly looking for this kind ofservice, and also it will allow us to make for satisfying and lastingconnections to customers and help them solve critical business issues," Colesays