Coronavirus and your lab inventory

HappiLabs is getting questions from scientists, similar to “Hey, do you know if coronavirus will affect the supply chain and shortages with our supplies?”

The short answer is…yes. Supply chain disruptions are inevitable, but also unpredictable. It is a good idea to plan for some shortages but it’s hard to say which supplies.

Many items will not see any disruption, but things like disinfectants, masks and disposable gowns will be hard to buy.

Gloves…it’s hard to see supply going short. There are so many types, styles, brands, and suppliers for gloves. But we don’t want to speculate on inventory levels of any lab supplies because we just don’t know what will happen globally.

HappiLabs is staying in contact with certain suppliers and keeping an eye on their response, but even suppliers have a hard time predicting their future inventory levels. Therefore, we’re not putting a lot of weight in their responses right now. It’s a day-by-day situation.

If your lab feels the need to stock up on any items, here’s what you can do to help HappiLabs help you:

  1. Identify the catalog #’s and supplier name for critical supplies. Repeat CRITICAL. Don’t stock up on things you MIGHT need.
  2. Provide Catalog # and Supplier name to your Virtual Lab Manager. A photo of the package label is super helpful. Use our app to make it easier to send us a photo (downloadable at the AppStore, search for HappiLabs or HappiApp).
  3. Let us know if you want to stock up and buy those catalog #’s, or just wait and be ready to buy more.
  4. Be ready to ask a manager or executive for approval for increased spending.
  5. The HappiLabs team will help by identifying backup suppliers for critical supplies. In some cases, if you’re locked into a specific brand, you might be about of luck. But if you can change brands of a supply, we’ll find a backup supplier.

Before you spend crazy amounts of money on extra supplies, here are some risks to be aware of:

  • Do you have space to store extra supplies?
  • Do supplies (like reagents, antibodies) have expiration dates you need to be aware of?
  • If your science changes, you will be stuck with lots of inventory, and HappiLabs cannot help you resell it if you don’t use it anymore.

As far as HappiLabs operations goes, we are healthy, and taking standard safety measures to prevent the spread of covid-19. Our workforce is strong and you shouldn’t see a disruption from our operations at the moment. Although, considering an increase in demand for purchases, we are busier and might ask your lab for help if we can’t stock up at the pace you want to, or we’ll ask you to pay more for our employees working overtime.

My final words: stay calm and take this day-by-day.

If you have further questions, email your Virtual Lab Manager or myself.

-Tom Ruginis

CEO of HappiLabs