Razor Blades and Gasoline – New Global Lab Consumables Report from SDi
Later this month, SDi will publish an ambitious new title, the SDi Global Laboratory Consumables 2020 report. Obviously, consumables play an important role in the overall laboratory tools market, and we have long tracked these products in our flagship Global Assessment Report, but it’s fair to say that the Global Assessment Report focuses more detail on the instrumentation and equipment product segments, while consumables have been largely treated as a subordinate line item in the market data tables.
Nevertheless, it’s been long evident that consumables have offered much greater growth potential in the marketplace and consequently worthy of separate and focused discussion. In the Global Assessment Report published in 2000, the aftermarket (including both consumables and aftermarket components) represented 31% of the total market. The comparable figure from the 2020 Global Assessment Report is 40%. It’s not a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, since the scope of the report has changed over the intervening 20 years, but the general principle is certainly true. More accurately, our current market landscape has consumables revenues growing more than twice as rapidly as sales of initial systems of instruments.
We are hopeful that the report will appeal to a broad audience of laboratory suppliers, with definite overlap with our existing Global Assessment Report customers. Many of them are like the razor companies, who also provide the blades for their systems, and this is an important revenue stream. Though when those blades get expensive, third parties often enter the market, and this is just as common in the laboratory with consumables. But we expect the report to also be attractive to ‘gasoline suppliers,’ who have virtually no overlap with the manufacturers of the automobiles that consume their product. Many of these companies do buy our Global Assessment Report for the information it already provides on consumables, but the new Global Laboratory Consumables Report will serve them even better.
Furthermore, although the report includes many items, such as chromatography columns, that are used with an instrument system, the new report will also discuss cell culture products and other consumables that aren’t associated with a particular piece of equipment, but represent a significant and necessary component of laboratory budgets.
This expansion of scope is an exciting development, and it makes us very proud to be introducing another flagship report. We tend to use this flagship metaphor without thinking, and it seems a little odd to have more than one flagship. But to extend the metaphor (Mrs. Taylor would be so proud), we are launching a ship into a new ocean of consumables; we had always had a presence there, but now it has been expanded into a fleet that requires a flagship. You can be sure some bottles of champagne will be expended in the process. Stay tuned!