Best practice tips for selecting a prepared media supplier

What does a good supplier look like? Andrew Ramage, Microbiology Product Specialist at Cherwell Laboratories, advises how to take the guesswork out of the search.

Any businesses requiring prepared media for microbiological testing activities, such as environmental monitoring, need to know two things: that all media is guaranteed to be of high quality and offer reliable results; and that confidence in the supplier is rooted in provable standards, certifications and validated processes.

Best practice tips for selecting a prepared media supplier

Researching potential suppliers is, of course, essential, but where do you start with understanding what a good supplier looks like? There are many factors to consider - from their media manufacture processes, storage and transport to their depth of technical knowledge, and the kind of relationship you can expect to nurture.

Best practice tips for finding suppliers:

  • Aim to narrow your field of search quickly to eliminate bad fit suppliers.
  • Write a ‘wish list’ of qualities you want from your ideal supplier; for example, good customer service that is responsive to your requests or concerns, can offer flexibility in their service and can offer bespoke solutions.
  • Rather than asking open-ended questions, be as specific as possible to minimise the process timescale.
  • Be clear about your own business needs - how frequently you require deliveries etc. Suppliers can’t give an honest idea of prices and service levels if you’re fuzzy about what you need.
  • Once you have your own criteria mapped out, here are the key questions for your shortlisted potential suppliers:

  • What is their quality control system for guaranteed media reliability?
  • What technical knowledge of cleanroom procedures do they possess?
  • Are they willing to go the extra mile to meet your needs?
  • Can they display a proven track record?
  • Can you take a tour of their facilities and meet the team?
  • Cherwell Laboratories, specialist suppliers of products for environmental monitoring and process validation, has published an eBook: The Pharmaceutical and Cleanroom Industry’s Pocket Guide to Prepared Culture Media. The guide, which is intended for anyone involved in using and/or buying microbiological media, aims to provide an understanding of the best practices and breadth of prepared culture media options for varying applications within the pharmaceutical and cleanroom industry.

    The comprehensive guide equips the reader with all the information they need to consider in order to produce; purchase; store and use prepared media effectively. Focusing on the key topics covered in the guide will help readers to ensure their culture media is of a consistently high quality to deliver reliable results that they can be confident of, every time.

    Topics within the guide include: an overview of the various applications of prepared media; best practice guidelines for handling and storing prepared media; the logistics of in-house prepared media manufacture; the argument for pre-prepared media versus in-house manufacturing and guidelines on how to choose a prepared media supplier.

    Commenting on the eBook, Andrew Ramage says: “I hope this booklet will educate and inform the reader of the many considerations needed to manufacture high-quality microbiological growth media. A flexible and reliable manufacturer of prepared media will be able to guarantee the customer receives exactly the product they require, to a consistently high standard. Once the reader has finished reading this booklet they should also have a clearer understanding of the pros and cons of buying in prepared media versus manufacturing in-house.”

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