multi-laser vs single laser charges

Joanne Thomas thomas at
Tue Mar 5 10:07:40 EST 2002

Hi Bunny!
Usually charges are based on the expenses associated with the instrument,
i.e. service contracts, consumables, purchase price etc. It is also
dependent on whether your facility is subsidized, for example, if the
instrument was purchased through a shared instrument grant or a cancer
center grant, then of course you would not include the cost of the
instrument in your expenses. If the instrument is intended to be run by core
facility personnel then salary becomes an expense unless this too is
subsidized, then it that case only the portion which is not subsidized is
the expense. Once you have calculated the annual expenses you would divide
that over the number of hours it will be available for use (maximum billable
time).  It is also important to assess what the average charge is at other
facilities to make sure you are in competitive range, especially if there
are other facilities locally to which you could lose your business. It is
rare that a facility will recoup 100% of its expenses (although it has been
done!) but you should be able to set your pricing so as to minimize them as
much as possible. The best way to reduce overhead is to maximize your
billable time. Marketing efforts are invaluable in this regard. Make sure
people are aware of the instruments capabilities and the type of experiments
and applications that it can be used for, hold a seminar or open house to
introduce people to it, offer first time trial discounts etc. If expenses
are distributed over maximum available time on the instrument, then the more
hours you can bill on the instrument the closer you will get to your break
even point. It has been my experience that users tend to stick with what
they know well and are comfortable with and will live with the limitations
rather than taking the time to learn something new. Sometimes a little hand
holding and getting people comfortable with the new technology can go a long
Just my two cents!

----- Original Message -----
From: "BAC" <bunny at>
To: cyto-inbox
Sent: Sunday, March 03, 2002 10:38 PM
Subject: multi-laser vs single laser charges

> We've recently added an LSR to our Flow stable, and I have a questions
> about billing. Would you charge  the same or more for samples run on an
> LSR vs a Facscan?
> (I'm leaning towards more since the additional laser life,,,,,,,,)
> Thanks!

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