How to Use Third-party Ratings When Choosing a Hematology Analyzer

Rating Entities What do supply chain rating entities do?

Supply chain rating entities seek to evaluate instrumentation and instrumentation providers and rate them according to a defined set of criteria.

Usually, the entity will survey users and customers with questions. Responses are the foundation of a composite score, or rating.

Many laboratory leaders use these ratings to speed up comparison research that can be slow and time-consuming. It also helps laboratory leaders gain a broader perspective beyond their own peer network.

Assessing Ratings What should you look for when assessing rating entities?

If you’re seeing ratings from a third-party rating entity for the first time, you may have questions. Here are a couple of things to consider:

  • Is the entity credible? Ask your colleagues and peers if they are familiar with the entity, or have participated in its surveys. Also check out the longevity of the entity—more established entities tend to be more credible. (Some entities, like MD Buyline, have been operating since 1983.) 
  • Who are the survey participants? Look at the level of experience their survey participants have with the instrumentation and/or vendor. Have they been using the instrumentation for two or more years? Are the survey participants contacted at random to eliminate potential bias? 

What matters most when you’re comparing providers?

Assume you have a few providers on your shortlist and ratings from an entity you trust. Here are a couple of points to consider when using ratings to shape decisions about a provider.

  • Is a score improving over time? Any provider can have a particularly successful—or unsuccessful—quarter. Since provider relationships also extend beyond a single quarter, make sure to evaluate current and historical rankings for a given factor. A score that is improving over time could be an indication that a provider is dedicated to continuous improvement.
  • Are the rankings where a provider scores highest related to what you care about? Entities often provide many different ratings, however not all may be of equal relevance to your laboratory. Many laboratories care most about the factors that directly impact their efficiency. These factors usually include system performance, system uptime, quality of training, service response time and service quality.

*MDB Analysis with Q4 surveys on systems <2 years old at the time the survey was sent.