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Facility Research Assistant, Oregon State University, shares her experience on the new Tecniplast E-Commerce

Tecniplast has recently introduced a Zebrafish online shopping service, an e-commerce option offering everything you need for Zebrafish care. The website features Tecniplast pieces of equipment (like the newly introduced sloped breeding tank and the I-spawn S etc.), Tecniplast systems consumables (pre-filter pad, mechanical filter cartridges, UV lamp etc.) but also all the most commonly used products in any zebrafish lab. Through specific partnership, the Tecniplast e-Shop offers colorimetric test kits, probe calibration solutions, diets, salts and sodium bicarbonate, brushes, thermometers and much more, which add to our traditional product portfolio. On the website you can find just what you need for your laboratory, putting an end to the endless search for what you need in pet e-shop and generic website re-seller. All the products shown on the website are physically available at the Tecniplast warehouse located in West Chester (PA) and all the orders processed through the e-Shop has the maximum priority within the organization, with the shared goal of delivery at destination within 72 hours from the order.

Carrie, have you had the opportunity to test this new service?

We have already found the new Tecniplast Shop to be very useful. Shortly after the site launched, we needed to purchase a few supplies very quickly for a particular project. We were able to utilize this new service to do a purchase of spawning tanks and parts in a very timely manner.

Could you list for our reader the most important benefits you have obtained from this new service? Would you like to recommend this service to your colleagues?

As I am sure we have all experienced at times in our facilities, days can get incredibly busy between working to meet the needs of researchers to managing daily operations and ensuring the needs of the animals are met. The ordering of supplies and procurement of needed items is often pushed aside to attend to more pressing facility needs. Having the ability to open my web browser, start an order and be able to walk away and return to it as needed, adds an incredible amount of flexibility to the ordering process with Tecniplast. It is an easy and streamlined option for purchasing disposable items and all of those small parts that we often realize are in short supply at the last minute. I highly recommend this service, especially to those facility mangers that do their own purchasing and ordering as it makes the process incredibly efficient.

Do you see a future for this typology of services? Why?

As the demands on our facilities continue to increase, efficient and simple ways to quickly procure the goods we need regularly, and to purchase specialty items as needed will be vital. In both my role as Zebrafish Colony Manager at the Sinnhuber Aquatic Research Laboratory and as an independent consultant for Current Consulting LLC, easy and efficient processes both internally and from our product suppliers and vendors is critical. Knowing what services to recommend to my consulting clients, based on my real world experience at SARL has been very valuable. An online ordering system to procure more basic zebrafish specific supplies is the perfect complement to working directly with my sales reps for more specialized products.

Could you summarize pros and cons of Tecniplast Shop vs traditional buying process?

Obviously, when you move to an automated system such as online purchasing, you are taking a risk at losing that personal interaction between your product specialists/sales representatives and clients.

However, given both the level of interaction instigated by the team at Tecniplast, and that this system is currently just for a few specific categories of product I don’t see this impacting the client/customer relationship.

I still communicate regularly with the team at Tecniplast regardless of my online purchasing. Additionally, with online systems, the user is ultimately responsible for all selection and proofing of the order whereas with a traditional order placed through your sales representative, a second set of eyes sees the document, which can potentially minimize mistakes in the ordering process. However, given how well the Tecniplast Shop is organized both in the display of product and in the cart at checkout it is incredibly easy to see and understand exactly what is being ordered.