Let’s face it, you probably didn’t have an easy time finding our site if you don’t know my last name. When you are searching for a lab to test your new pesticide, you quickly get lost in university sites that are not really relevant to your product. But we may not be your best choice either. I find myself talking people out of testing with us or directing them to other labs as often as I don’t. Like all labs, we are not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ business. So our first blog is directed at so many companies that are not accustomed to testing pesticides or are looking for a change from the few labs you are aware of. What should you be looking for?
1. Experience in Your Field. First, you will be surprised that there are no ‘standard’ methods in our industry. We constantly are hired to re-do tests that are really quite ‘cookie cutter’ for us (because of our high volume of work), but that have failed with other labs or universities. The most simple things can really mess up your data and without someone that routinely does the same thing, it can be hard to sort out if your product failed or the test method failed your product. To be fair though, most needs are not ‘routine’. Most of our new clients come to us with rather difficult and complicated problems. As any business, we all specialize in as much ‘cookie cutter’ approaches as we can as such repeat test methods are the most profitable and least likely to need constant ‘do-overs’. But we frequently accept tests that we have never ran in the past. Our philosophy is that EVERY test should be unique and different. However, we do specialize in urban pests, household pests, vegetable pests, and agricultural pests. But that doesn’t stop us from testing algaecides in swimming pools (since no one else does), or allergen penetration through fabrics (the only other lab stopped doing so), and a host of other things that are clearly beyond our original business model. When we know of another lab that is faster, cheaper, or better at a certain test method we routinely send clients to them. Life is too short to end up with frustrated clients and non-profitable tests.
2. Timely Turn-Around. If you are asking for a test with a species that is readily available and lab-reared by us… we are devoted to starting your test within 2 weeks of receiving your product, your approved protocol, and initial payment. Of course many tests require pests that are only available during a short season, or require a ton of up front construction, or a specially bred population, etc… We recognize that R&D time frames are shorter and shorter and while ‘live bugs’ can be tricky to deal with, we strive to stay ahead of your schedule and get tests running as soon as possible. This is just a matter of 3 factors: a) a commitment to getting tests started quickly, b) an efficient system of how we manage our team, and c) having a staff large enough to handle any needs as they come to us. We maintain the largest staff in the business and that means we don’t need to make excuses and drag out your test.
3. Cost Effectiveness. Needless-to-say we haven’t made friend with our aggressive pricing in our industry. But we would rather develop ‘clients for life’ than get all we can out of 1 test. We know that few things work right the first time… so we would rather keep our prices as low as possible so that you have the budget to continue when/if your first attempt doesn’t work. We price our work for the long-term… long-term expectation that you will continue to like us and use us, and long-term expectations that we can balance our own budgets and not milk your budget because we are having a bad quarter!
4. The Ability to Help Your Development Needs, Not Just Your Testing Needs. For years we took the industry mantra of ‘ethics in testing’ to mean (like all other labs) that we only test, we don’t take a vested interest in your product. But we quickly found that so many clients (most all in fact) have their own limitations of being able to develop completely on their own. Therefore we have a full time chemistry department and a dedicated team of development research staff that ONLY focuses on how we can help solve problems on the development level, and not just the testing. If your project is not meeting your goals, we can step in and help re-formulate or develop a need from scratch.
5. Perfect Reports. When it is all said and done… everything we do for you is worthless if it is not documented quickly, correctly, and thoroughly. It is shocking to see 4-page reports from other labs that are vague and curt, with more ‘pre-ramble’ about the ‘state of the art’ than what they actually did for your test. We leave no stone unturned in documenting exactly what we did and our reports are ‘second-to-none’. But equally as important, our reports are FAST (typically taking us 2 weeks to wrap up after we finish all your data).
So drop us an email or a phone call and let us know what your problems you have… maybe we can help, and maybe we can’t. It can’t hurt to find out.