What Scientists Are Saying About HappiLabs

HappiLabs is focused on providing excellent service with intelligent purchasing skills. We train our Virtual Lab Managers to be the best lab managers on the planet so that you can focus on what you were trained to do–science! We commonly hear scientists say, “I’ve never heard of that type of service.” Correct. It’s brand new, jump on the bandwagon now and make sure your lab is run more efficiently than the one next door.

Hear what other customers have to say about our services:

Efficient, affordable, fantastic. Lets us be scientists.

Matthew Gillum, Ph.D., PI of Gillum Lab

ethan_perlstein_labHappiLabs is a real value-add to a growing biotech startup. Three words that describe my experience with them: satisfaction, satisfaction, satisfaction.

Ethan Perlstein, Ph.D., CEO of Perlstein Lab

Working with Happilabs has been like having a friend who lives inside my computer. I send requests for product research, ordering, and even complicated price negotiations and it just works. Thanks guys.

Eric Lewyllen, Ph.D., Scientist at Assembly Biosciences

To date, they have saved us over $1,100. I am happy that a service like this exists; it makes my job easier.

Jenny Beck, Director of UIC Research Resource Center

Hammack epibiomeHaving accounting controls in place, and readily audit-able, is highly valuable. Thanks again for all of the excellent work.
HappiLabs has definitely been an integral part of running our business and we remain both impressed and pleased with the services they provide.

Aaron Hammack, Ph.D., COO of EpiBiome

By using Happilabs we are able to complete our scientific experiments with the highest efficiency. They find us the optimal resources and reagents based on our needs and save us a significant amount of time and money in the process.

Nina DiPrimio, Ph.D., Scientist at Perlstein Lab

uri lopatin assembly bioThree words that describe my experience with HappiLabs: Content. Cost effective.

Uri Lopatin, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Assembly Biosciences

Lab Save of the Week: Gel spatula, $8.55 or $74.95?

Recently, one of our Virtual Lab Managers received a request for a spatula to open gel cassettes and transfer gels from one location to another. The customer found this product through Invitrogen for $45 plus $29.95 for shipping.

putty knifeBefore we place orders, we always check prices and products at other sites. We were able to track down a similar product–a putty knife–on Amazon for $8.55 with free shipping, a $66.40 save for customer. Yay!

Invitrogen- Gel Knife, Catalog #EI9010, $45.00 (+$29.95 shipping)
Amazon- Harris Premier chisel tool, $8.55 (free shipping)

What would you do with $66.40?

By paying attention to your lab spending, you can avoid overpaying for products.


How to save $140 on an antibody

Lab Save of the Week:

HappiLabs pcr tube solutionsA customer requested Bioworld Bovine Calpain-2 Catalytic, quoted at $491.00 from Fisher. Our Virtual Lab Managers knew we could get a better price than that, so we shopped around. We found that ordering directly from Bioworld resulted in major savings, with a quote for $351.18 (savings of $139.82). Think about what else you could buy with that money!

Fisher: Catalog #50-253-649, $491.00
Bioworld: Catalog #22060550-1, $351.18

Pay attention to where your money goes and you can save $140 on a single order.

About a virtual lab manager

Virtual Lab Manager

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a Virtual Lab Manager? Liz Sacho, Ph.D. talks about her experience with HappiLabs:

I started out working just a few hours a week for HappiLabs as an Assistant Virtual Lab Manager, doing searches for products.  Quite often you can find the identical or a comparable product that is a better deal, and it was my job to find those deals.  Other searches were in response to client requests for something to solve a problem they were having, and I would see if a product existed that would meet their needs.

Those searches were a lot of fun, and I got to combine my scientific and problem solving background with the product search skills I had been developing.

When I became a full Virtual Lab Manager, I started working with a couple of labs, and learned more about the exciting research they’re doing. In addition to product searches and price comparisons, I was interacting with scientists, placing orders, organizing financial information, and interacting with sales reps and vendors to get quotes, discounts and order statuses.

When I was working in a lab, I would get quotes and information about my orders by email.  Working at HappiLabs, I realized just how much quicker you can get things done if you pick up the phone and ask!

A case study: how to efficiently set up a research lab

Congratulations! You’ve got a new job, and you get to set up a research lab. If you’ve never done this before, you may think it will go something like this:

1. Figure out what you need
2. Place orders
3. Science!

Sadly, in the real world, setting up a new lab goes something more like this:

1. Figure out what you need

2. Decide which vendors you may want/need to purchase from

3. Start setting up accounts with vendors (don’t forget to ask for new lab discounts!)
a. fill out forms to verify your lab exists*
b. phone call with company to verify your lab exists*,
c. fill out more forms to verify your lab exists*
d. FINALLY get accounts confirmed*

4. Take a break and get some coffee/beer/fresh air

5. Shop around for the best price
a. or don’t…it’s your $
b. spend time on phone with sales reps to get quotes
c. email sales reps to follow up on promised quotes*

6. Create spreadsheet with pricing information

7. Decide which items to order from each vendor

8. Try to place an order

aspirin9. Get frustrated with online ordering system

10. Take a walk and buy aspirin at the local drug store for headache – your first purchase!

11. Place an order.

12. Place a second order.

13. …wait for order confirmations
a. call or email to follow up on order confirmation*
14. …wait for shipping information
a. call or email to follow up on shipping – where is your stuff?!*
15. …wait for invoices
a. call or email to follow up on invoices*

16. Receive items


*not all companies

It’s a lot more complicated than you want it to be. While HappiLabs can’t decide for you what items you’ll need to conduct your research, we are PhD scientists and we have a good idea of what it takes to set up a lab. We are happy to review your lab wish list for things you may have forgotten (test tube racks? autoclave tape? tubing for your shiny new pump?).

Additionally, we are experts at comparison shopping and can help you save valuable start-up dollars. For example, HappiLabs recently went through this process with the crowd-funded, non-profit research organization: IndySci.org.

Our budget was $10,000. The list price for all the items needed to set up this lab was ~$12,700. We shopped around, negotiated with vendors, took advantage of the used market, and utilized new lab start up discounts and got start-up costs down to ~$7,300 – an overall savings of ~$5,400 or 42%!

As you may expect, Chemicals and Lab Equipment were the two largest expenses in purchasing for a new lab. They were also the two categories we were able to save the most money in:IndySci_SavingsByCategory

           Total Savings: $5,400
           (over list prices)

     Savings on Chemicals: $2,980

Savings on Lab Equipment: $1,260

Saving $5,400 does take some time and effort. Here is a breakdown of the time consumption:

IndySci Time Graphic

When trying to maximize your budget, you want to use your money AND time efficiently. Do you have 20+ hours for this job? If you’re starting up a lab, you can turn product research and ordering processes over to your friendly neighborhood Virtual Lab Manager. We’ll handle your lab set-up process with a smile so that you can focus on other, more important things, such as science and business development.

(The lab setup and this writeup was mostly managed by our Virtual Lab Manager Liz Sacho, PhD aka @ejsacho)