We sit down with our good friend Dr. Eric Roy who explains the common pitfalls and caveats with purchasing a meter and what to look out for with making this major purchase.
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How to Evaluate, Buy & Get Most Of Your Technology
- Does the equipment work?
- Federal Agency-Sponsored Testing
- Be Leary of 3rd party testing paid for by manufacturer
- Is Equipment Best Choice For Your Situation?
- Product Literature is great starting point
- Salespeople can help you understand unique features/capabilities
- No such thing as magic wand
- Are you filling a hole in your toolbox (specific need) or looking for something more comprehensive (general need)
- Using this, generate unofficial “requirements” for your procurement
- Planning For An Evaluation
- Tell salespeople that you have a funded opportunity to purchase equipment with given requirements
- Assemble candidate companies based off sales claims and your expected needs
- If you’re using a distributor to coordinate multiple vendors, ask to be trained by Manufacturers’ SMEs BEFORE evaluation
- Don’t demand to talk to the engineers in R&D…. they are building a thing based on specs.
- SMEs speak your language and know product inside/out
- Prepare scenarios that:
- Your team encounters
- You are expecting the device to perform for
- Plan to bring in substances that the device is designed to detect
- Plan scenarios with false positives as well
- USE EACH DEVICE ON EACH SCENARIO FOR APPLES TO APPLES COMPARISON
- Don’t let evaluation go off the rails
- One person should be present for all evaluations (call it a referee)
- Due Diligence on Short List or “Winner”
- All vendors have happy references…. I’d honestly skip talking to them. You have no idea if they got a screaming deal or if they get preferential treatment (e.g. early adopters)
- The key reference you want to hear from is: Customer who had a bad experience…. What did company do to make it right? Would you be happy with that outcome if it happened to you? You are looking for someone recent. All vendors have these people… if they say they don’t…. they’re lying.