A request comes in. It’s a supplier with an eCommerce site. To get the item ordered, the lab manager clicks a few times on a supplier site and the order is placed! Done.
Except. It can pay to slow down a little and do a bit of comparison shopping.
For example, this GeneJET kit is available through both Fisher Scientific and Thermofisher Scientific’s websites. Fisher wasn’t having a sale on this item, but Thermofisher was. By changing a website, money was saved!
EMD Millipore and Sigma are another example where this can work. EMD Millipore doesn’t often have promo codes. Sigma often does and EMD Millipore items are often available through sigmaaldrich.com.
Again, ostensibly, these are one company, Millipore-Sigma, but their web portals sometimes don’t behave that way.
These both are special cases of a general rule: if something is offered more than one place, definitely compare pricing, availability, and the lab’s relationship with supplier. Last: ask a preferred supplier to match a competitor’s better price when deciding where to buy an item.
Mimicry is pretty common in nature. As in nature, so with lab supplies.
An ever-evolving ocean of distinct products exists. No one scientist needs all products available in their career, of course. However, even when focused on basic items, confusion can occur due to what is essentially mimicry, AKA “branding”.