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LPA 2008 Laboratory Purchasing Trends Survey Shows Promise

The Laboratory Products Association has published its 2008 North American Survey of Laboratory Purchasing Trends. Despite the tight economy, the lab products market does not seem to be adversely impacted at the moment. Hiring of lab personnel is increasing as is spending in all product categories.

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The Laboratory Products Association has published its 2008 North American Survey of Laboratory Purchasing Trends. The 2008 survey, conducted by K.C. Associates, Inc., is the 5th such report conducted since 2002 providing data and customer input on what is happening in the market. Despite the tight economy, the lab products market does not seem to be adversely impacted at the moment. Hiring of lab personnel is increasing as is spending in all product categories.
 
There were 872 responses for the U.S. and Canada in the baseline study giving a Confidence Level of 95% +/- 3. Responses are compared to the responses of the surveys conducted in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2007. Eight product categories are included in the survey: chemicals, reagents, and solvents; glassware/plastic ware; consumables excluding chemicals; laboratory equipment <$2,500; laboratory equipment >$2,500; laboratory equipment <$5,000; laboratory equipment >$5,000; and laboratory furniture. Organization segments in the survey include: industry; hospital; government; college/university; and independent/contract lab. Market segments include: basic research, biotechnology, chemicals, clinical, environmental and pharmaceutical.
 
In addition to personnel and purchasing information, this year’s survey asked specific questions related to the importance of “brand name” products and the importance when considering the purchase of “green” (environmentally friendly) products for the laboratory.
 
Some key findings of the survey:
-          26% of the respondents indicated an increase in laboratory personnel for 2008 – the highest increase reported since the inception of this report in 2002.
-          45% indicated they would be hiring for replacements or to increase staff in 2008 vs. 63% in 2007.
-          Spending for all product categories increased for 2008 according to the respondents with 45% indicating an increase in “chemicals, reagents, and solvents” category compared to earlier years.
-          27% indicated an increase in capital equipment budgets for 2008 – the highest increase reported since the inception of this report in 2002.
-          When considering the purchase of “brand name” products, “quality and reliability” was the top reason for specifying brand name products.