In-house sampling and hidden costs

Effective sampling is essential to driving chemical sales. However, the hidden costs and inefficiencies of in-house sampling could be having a negative effect on the growth and profitability of many businesses. The points below outline the key issues to consider when comparing in-house versus outsourced sampling:

Freight Costs
Freight is not one of the typical ‘hidden’ costs and can generally be easily identified within a business. However, many companies do not send samples out regularly and are therefore subject to excessive transport prices. SampleRite sends out on average 55,000 sample bottles per year and benefits greatly from volume-driven discounts.

Sampling is not a core function for most chemical manufacturers and distributors. Therefore sourcing a range of sample packaging in terms of size, materials etc can be problematic and expensive. SampleRite stocks a wide range of packaging options to meet every possible need.

On average it takes approx 25 minutes to complete a non-hazardous and 50 minutes for a hazardous sample, including decant, labelling, packing and paperwork. Depending on the salary of the employee (s) involved and the number of samples dispatched, labour costs can quickly add up.

It is also often the case where sampling is part of someone’s job and as a result, may detract from their core role within the organisation, therefore it is likely that sampling will not get the priority it deserves.

Lost Sales
Getting samples to customers quickly and before the competition is crucial in turning samples into orders. In-house sampling may not provide a fast enough service, resulting in the competition getting their sample in first, getting their product approved, closely followed by a bulk order. Lost sales could be a massive hidden cost to a business if sampling is not effective. Many companies do not have a reporting facility for sampling. This makes it difficult to follow up on samples and potentially losing out on sales as a result.

Stock Management

Managing sample stocks effectively is crucial in minimising waste. In-house sampling can often result in part containers which are redundant for sale, compromised product quality and products lying around which are past their shelf life and require disposal. SampleRite works closely with clients to ensure stocks are managed closely, taking into consideration the needs of your business.

Sample stocks and packaging can be transferred to SampleRite, which can free up additional warehouse and laboratory space for your core business.

Internal Administration
Sample Requests can take time to process internally, and may be dealt with by already extremely busy admin staff. SampleRite offer an online ordering system, which can reduce time and costs involved in administration. An automated email is sent when we have received the order, and when the order leaves SampleRite, eliminating the need for chasing an order internally and saving time.

Staff Training
Training costs could be avoided by outsourcing the sampling process, including IATA and ADR courses.

Turnaround time is critical to sampling success. Over 60% of sample end-users surveyed said that the first sample they receive "often or always" has an advantage over those arriving later. And 70% said suppliers have lost sales opportunities because of late or incorrect sample shipments. Our proven programs speed turnaround and eliminate mistakes. We also improve sales communications with e-mail notices, follow-ups and on-line shipment data to help you make the sale.

By outsourcing, you can eliminate the cost of FDA, DOT, ADR, IATA, EPA, OSHA, chemical handling, respirator use and waste training for your employees.

Incorrect packaging, labelling or documentation of chemical samples can lead to transportation fines - potentially thousands of dollars or euros per violation. We eliminate that risk, and are experts at safely shipping both hazardous and non-hazardous materials.

Are you missing additional revenue opportunities that come in small packages? In addition to packaging and fulfilling your sample orders, we can sell your small package products and non-strategic samples, boosting your bottom line.

If you would like to learn more about SampleRite’s services please contact the SampleRite sales team. Phone +44(0)1422 327369 or e-mail