Too often specification and procurement of scientific equipment and consumables is seen as a separate exercise from building new facilities and training staff and expensive mistakes are made which are then difficult if not impossible to rectify without substantial further expenditure. The net result tends to be a laboratory in which substantial funds have been invested but which fails to deliver a fraction of what is required through no fault of its staff.
In reality, equipping a laboratory should be an integral part of the plan for a laboratory and should dovetail seamlessly with the design of the building and training provided to staff. They are all inter-dependant and parts of the same jigsaw.
The breadth and depth of Axiom’s knowledge and experience across all forensic science disciplines enables us to choose the best scientific instruments, equipment and consumables for any given forensic improvement project. We can provide precise specifications on appropriate models and attachments – reflecting current best practice. we can also advise on potential suppliers, placing emphasis on those who:
Supply leading instruments for forensic applications in their fields – in terms of accuracy of results, robustness and ease of use
Provide strong customer support for installation and commissioning, validation, servicing and maintenance – all of which are essential for establishing and maintaining a reliable service to investigators and the courts, and achieving and maintaining international accreditation
Are major suppliers – for resilience, with (reasonably) local agents for those occasions when a site visit is required. This ensures that any issues which cannot be resolved by telephone or internet are dealt with promptly, reducing downtime for instruments and thereby maintaining service levels and keeping costs down
Give the most reasonable discounts for volume purchasing for best value for the customer. Axiom staff are well accustomed to negotiating discounts with manufacturers and their agents and are entirely confident of achieving significant savings over list prices
The Axiom team can then supervise installation and commissioning of instruments and help laboratory staff familiarise themselves with them, validate new technical methods, devise appropriate systems and processes for efficient workflows and write Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) describing all of this for Quality management purposes.
Axiom can also provide details of all consumables to run the instruments and to support other related activities in the laboratory and, again, where to go for the best service and discounts. They can advise about how to establish systems to ensure the maintenance of appropriate stocks of such consumables – avoiding the costs of either over stocking and wastage, or running out with consequent downtime of instruments and service delivery failures.
Track record examples
Drawing up detailed instrument, equipment and consumables specifications for both full service and specialist forensic laboratories in the UK
Ordering, installing and commissioning the equipment, calibrating it and validating methods to be used on it
Providing similar service for a full scale laboratory in Africa, supplying detailed specifications for all scientific instruments and other equipment with costs involved
Supplying specialist ballistic comparison microscopy equipment and associated training and mentoring in its use to a law enforcement agency in Africa as a matter of urgency which successfully prevented violence during national elections.