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The Case for Using a Third-Party Sampling Company

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The Case for Using a Third-Party Sampling Company Part of any sampling strategy is the evaluation of the scientific benefit of each potential sample to be collected. The scientific benefit should be evaluated against the cost to collect that sample. A "cost/benefit analysis" is performed (or should be) for each sample collected and for every parameter proposed. What makes the most sense and provides the most useful data, without sampling everywhere for everything as if cost wasn't an issue. Financial issues are almost always a point of consideration when it comes to evaluating the sampling plan. However, the question is, whose finances are being considered? Bias and conflicts of interests in science are rarely discussed. Scientists all like to believe that they can draw a distinct line between a scientific decision and financial decision. However, Scientists are human and humans have bias. When a person benefits, whether financially or otherwise, the person has bias whet…

Is Next Year a Copy and Paste Year?

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Is Next Year a Copy and Paste Year?
The Internet produces new business  models and also reinvents traditional business models. - Marc Ostrofsky
If you're a Manager of anything, it's the time of the where you start thinking about what you're going to do next year. You more than likely have to put together a budget for next year. You'll have to come up with strategy and then justify that strategy. For many, it's mandated by corporate policy or by your boss. Many people, will simply copy and paste from what they did last year and adjust the numbers slightly for this year.










If you're one of the people that simply copies and pastes from last year's budget and strategy to next year's budget and strategy, you may be doing yourself a disservice. It could be that continuing with the "status quo" means you are missing out on opportunities that may have developed since last year. We live in innovative times, with the advent of new technologies, new fancy softw…

Price Quote Automation

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Price Quote Automation "As technology advances, it reverses the characteristics of  every situation again and again. The age of automation is going  to be the age of 'do it yourself.'" -Marshall McLuhan It's common for companies to develop taglines or slogans to convey a message or an image to potential clients. A tagline that our company uses to convey the message we want our potential clients to receive about our services is the term"data automation". We use the term data automation because it best describes our services. With just a few clicks, users are able to upload and convert that data into infographics used to convey the location, severity, and trends of contamination at their site. We do this by creating graphs, tables, maps, charts, contour maps, and other images in a matter of seconds.

A while back a client called meand asked for a sampling cost proposal he needed for a competitive bid he was preparing (If you don't know, we do both sampling…

A Preview - The In-Situ Aqua TROLL 600 Multi-Meter

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A Preview - The In-Situ Aqua TROLL 600 Multi-Meter "It doesn't matter if the glass is half full or half empty  if you think you can make a better glass." - Unknown If you've been reading my newsletters over the years you'll know periodically we review various environmental equipment for environmental sampling.  We've reviewed most of the popular water quality multi-meters on the market. Back in 2014 we reviewed In-Situ's SmarTroll. I concluded at the time that, although it did not meet everything I could wish for in a meter, it was a very good meter and at the time my favorite meter. You can review that article here.
Things have changed, and I now have a new favorite meter. It's the Aqua TROLL 600 meter, also made by In-Situ. Last month we took advantage of In-Situ's "try before you buy" demo program. They told us this would be an "early demo" because although the multi-meter itself was complete in its final form, the software ap…

Changing an Industry. First by accident and then by design.

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Changing an Industry. First by accident  and then by design.
"There are two kinds of companies, those that work to try to charge more and those that work to charge less. We will be the second." - Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
When SampleServe.com first started back in 2001, the goals we had for the company were completely different than the goals we have now.  Back then the internet was just gaining momentum and not everyone was comfortable having their data online.  As a matter of fact, some people were actually outright opposed to it. 
In the beginning we wanted to be a "field services" company. In 2002 we developed an online data management tool to facilitate our own sampling. Being efficiency minded, we wanted to be able to lay out a project and print chain of custody's, sample bottle label's and sample location  maps ahead of time so that our own field staff could sample quicker and with fewer mistakes.  The client access function where the client could log …

Laboratory Data Deliverables

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Laboratory Data Deliverables
" Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them."  -Alfred North Whitehead
I may be dating myself, but when I started working in the environmental industry, the fax machine was just becoming standard office equipment. They were slow, used thermal paper that came on a roll, and you had to cut the paper into the right size yourself. The paper was difficult to work with as it wanted to roll back up on itself. When we needed results from a laboratory in a hurry, we would ask them to "fax it over." Otherwise, laboratory  reports were always printed on paper and mailed via US Postal service. Once the paper or fax reports were received, we would take the data and "maybe" put it into a table. We would have to re-type the data ourselves into whatever format we wanted it in. We didn't always do tables because I'm talking about a time before Microsoft Excel. Table…

Technological Unemployment

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Technological Unemployment
"Technology... is a peculiar thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other."  -C.P. Snow
Wikipedia defines Technological Unemployment as "unemploymentprimarily caused by technological change," or more accurately technological innovation. In industries were "technological unemployment" occurs, productivity and profitability tend to increase. We don't generally think of increased unemployment as causing increased productivity.
Most "technological unemployment" tends to happen in industries and work scenarios that are easily automated like assembly and manufacturing. Think robots.   However, automation is occurring in more and more sectors not previously thought to be automatable. Fast food restaurants are starting to experiment with automation. I've personally seen robotic beverage machines. A machine that grabs the right size cup and fills it with the cold drink I'v…