Instruments break down, project scope changes, and new opportunities arrive at your doorstep. There are many situations that call for the acquisition of new or improved analytical instruments for your laboratory. But what does an organization do when they need to scale their operation and the numbers just don’t work for a large capital purchase?


Traditionally, the only solution to this problem was to secure more funding to be able to afford to invest in new equipment directly from the manufacturer. However, there are several different purchasing options available to the modern research lab that are more flexible and cost-effective strategies, compared to the traditional options.


  1. Buying Pre-Owned Lab Instruments 

The main benefit of buying pre-owned lab instruments is the significant cost savings. Often, equipment on the secondary market is in good condition, functionally equivalent, and significantly less of an investment than the same instrument purchased brand new.

The main drawback that most people perceive when exploring the option of purchasing redeployed laboratory instruments is that this equipment could have deficiencies. It is a genuine concern to be worried about. If pursuing this route, ensure the vendor offers an asset management program that supports your organization.


  1. Leasing Laboratory Instruments 

Another option for labs with budget constraints is to lease, rather than purchase their instruments. The main reason leasing is a better option in this scenario, is that it provides organizations with reduced risk, cost and aggravation.

Risks associated with purchasing an instrument outright include the eventuality that the investment will depreciate substantially over time, and include the need to invest in maintenance to maintain the value of the investment. Older instrument can impact productivity as well. Leasing avoids those issues.

Leasing allows the lab to be consistently be equipped with the latest technology, as they can refresh old equipment for newer instruments. This ensures optimal productivity, and it reduces the liability of having substantial capital tied up in a depreciating investment.


  1. Financing Your Equipment

Financing is different from leasing as financing refers to taking out a loan against the value of the equipment. The equipment is used as collateral and the loan is paid back in a defined time frame at a fixed interest rate. At the end of the term, the organization owns the instrument.

Financing is a good option for organizations who will be using the same piece of technology for many years into the future, as the organization will outright own the equipment at the end of the financing term.


Each of these options work well in different scenarios and can provide the flexibility an organization needs to acquire advanced technology to ensure their labs are running at optimal levels.


Paul Corcoran is President & CEO of McKinley Scientific. For a no obligation discussion on your lab’s situation, contact us today.