Would a scientist pay a million dollars for an urgent order?

Order requests can be normal, ASAP, or URGENT.

According to Merian-Webster, “urgent” means calling for immediate attention.

Scientists, when requesting an order for lab supplies, here are suggestions for using urgent vs ASAP vs normal.

Normal

Orders can sit for a bit, there’s time to go shopping (which can take a day or two). Scientists will have an opportunity  to change their mind about the item or quantity requested. These are placed within 6-36 hours of the request.

“Can you order more MAP1 antibody. I’m good for about 1 more week.”

ASAP

Orders are given priority but assume delivery will be > or = 2 days, at best. The request should include a need-by date.  We’ll make it happen.

“Hi HappiLabs. We made a change to the experiment. Please order a pack of 30cc syringes. It will be very helpful to have them by Friday.”

URGENT

The order is critical to a scientist’s workflow and needs to get there next day.

A Virtual Lab Manager will drop everything, including your teammates requests. You want our primary focus on getting that order in ahead of a supplier’s shipping cutoff time, onto a UPS plane, into a truck stuck in traffic, unloaded at your receiving door, signed for, and carried from the door to your lab.

“URGENT. What can you do to get me a replacement light bulb for the microscope by tomorrow morning? All work is stopped until we get a new bulb.”

On average, URGENT will cost you $62 in extra shipping costs. Sometimes it’ll cost you a MILLION dollars

 Million Dollar Shipping

Is it really URGENT?

Urgent is NOT

  • Pipette tips. It is not flasks. It is not gloves. Inventory for these requisite consumables should be planned well ahead of time.
  • Custom items requiring weeks of lead time to fulfill.
  • Office supplies
  • Snacks

Help us help you by selecting the right shipping speed, maintaining a smooth virtual lab manager workflow, and use URGENT only when it’s urgent.

 

Avoid the Time Sink of Product Research. Ask HappiLabs.

How often do you lose time researching information about a product or equipment? Ugh, we know that feeling and are happy to save you the time and keep your lab moving fast.

HappiLabs Virtual Lab Managers (VLMs) are more than purchasers. We answer scientists’ questions too, questions they’d have to take time away from their experiments to research. Here are a few questions VLMs have been asked recently.

EASY, BUT URGENT!

Can you please find these one way stop cocks (STPC 100C) from a vendor with next day shipping? We need them by tomorrow.

OUT OF STOCK!

Oh no! Sigma is out of stock. Can you find an alternative for this Calcium Chloride (449709-10G) from Sigma? It’s urgent.

TIME TO DIG

We ordered some glass vials from Proindustrial.com with a 50 µm ID before. Can you please look for vials with a 60 µm ID? I would like the shorter length vials.

USED SUPPLIERS ARE OUR FAVORITE

To fit our budget, can you source a Leica Microtome RM2135 from a used supplier?

SLIGHTLY COMPLICATED REQUEST

Can you get a footprint estimate for a 230 L liquid nitrogen tank, and find out any regulatory details for securing it in California? If they need to be secured (for earthquakes, etc), can you find out what restraints are required?

How a Virtual Lab Manager tackles these requests: 

  1. Our team. A lot of VLMs have answered these same questions in the past. Therefore it’s easy to dig into our database or lean on each other for help.
  2. Search engines: Google, Bing, and Dogpile.
  3. Call vendor technical support or contact a sales representative.
  4. Search on a suppliers’ websites (last resort as many supplier websites lack sufficient info to get answers)

Science is full of questions. By fielding the ones about products and sourcing items, HappiLabs allows scientists’ to spend more time focusing on science.

Email us anytime!

Photo credit: Pixabay. Usage: CC0.

Clear Communication

Misheard numbers, letters or words cause communication miscues and inefficiencies.

A system for clarity is helpful.

For instance, The Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet, also known as the NATO alphabet:

Radiotelephony_Spelling_Alphabet_(1955)

Virtual Lab Managers talk with scientists and suppliers talk on the phone quite a bit. Clarifying spelling or letters in POs and tracking numbers saves time. Using The Radiotelephony Alphabet, or other clarifying system, helps keep communication clear, efficient, and reliable.

A tip from Hotel-Alpha-Papa-Papa-India Lima-Alpha-Bravo-Sierra.

Image: Public domain.

Time spent ordering

Ordering takes a lot of time.

The less time scientists spend in the purchasing cycle, the faster they can get back to happily focusing on science.
A HappiLabs summer intern, Lena, timed experienced Virtual Lab Managers (VLMs) placing orders online. The time ranged from just under four minutes to over seven.  An average of six minutes per order may not seem like much, but it quickly adds up with multiple orders a day.

Order time by supplier

The VLM team are scientists and purchasing experts. HappiLabs frees scientists’ time to do research and innovate.

We’re hiring a Virtual Lab Manager

Virtual Lab Manager at a growing life science company

If you have experience with lab management, purchasing, or customer service apply!

ABOUT HAPPILABS

HappiLabs is a small business in Chicago, still in the early stage but past the startup stage, that provides a service to scientists called the Virtual Lab Manager. We are similar to an outsourced purchasing department (some might say a Personal Shopper) for biotech companies and scientific research labs.

Our focus is on customer service, and we’re for-profit but have a non-profit mentality.

Our mission: to improve the happiness of scientists and the quality of their research.

By helping scientists do their job, we are helping all the people on the planet who benefit from inventions, creations, and knowledge that scientists create.

Purchasing and Customer Service ScientistYou will co-manage a minimum of two labs. We are “virtual” so your job consists of sitting in an office and communicating with scientists, in other parts of the world, about what they need to run their experiments.

You will be trained to be one of the best lab managers in the world.

EXPERIENCE

A strong candidate will have one or two of these backgrounds:

  • Lab manager or postdoc who has managed scientists, experiments, and budgets
  • Purchaser in a non-science setting
  • Sales rep in the life science industry

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Maintaining a daily ToDo List
  • Utilizing apps and software for managing labs
  • Communicating with scientists to understand their needs and experiments
  • Communicating with suppliers (sales reps, technical help, & customer service) to obtain pricing and technical info, place orders, retrieve order updates, and solve logistics and supply chain problems
  • Scanning the internet for new apps, technologies, or products that make science faster
  • Keeping detailed accounting records, such Purchase Orders and Invoices
  • Reporting progress and solving problems at team meetings

TIMEFRAME

Looking to start now, preferably in Chicago.

COMPENSATION

  • Full-time or Part-time, 20-40 hours per week,
  • $50-70k, depending on experience
  • Medical and Dental health benefits
  • Food at the office

SKILLS AND TRAITS YOU SHOULD HAVE

We want a long-term commitment, someone who will help a small company grow into a large one.

  • Tech savvy (very good with a computer, its keyboard and multiple monitors)
  • A Mac user, comfortable with Google products and spreadsheets
  • Be proactive – help without being asked to help, and ability to predict problems
  • Quick, mental flexibility – we’re a growing company, always changing, and a good candidate must be willing (and excited!) to change pace.
  • A passion for science and desire to make a difference in the world.
  • Tough – customers and suppliers can be difficult to deal with. You need to take the hits, be calm with your interactions, and move on.
  • Confident presence on the phone. We make a lot of phone calls to suppliers.

===== APPLY NOW! ======

CLICK this link –> HAPPILABS JOB APPLICATION (VIA A GOOGLE FORM)

It will not hurt to connect with Tom on LinkedIn.