Managing your biorepository with one single system can reap big rewards, but getting started on the process of selection can be a bit intimidating. By following these simple steps, you can feel more confident and better equipped to make this important choice.

  1. Define the problem. Before you think about vendors, it’s best to spend some time brainstorming about your most significant issues. Jot down a list of the most pressing needs and also things you would like to have, if possible.
  1. Research and Network. Once you have a list of which issues need addressing, you can start researching and networking to get a feel for what capabilities and solutions are out there. It is also a good idea to ask others about their experiences. Organizations like ISBER (International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories), which offer memberships, working groups, special interest groups, etc. will help you get connected. ESBB is also a great option for those based in Europe.
  1. Decide what matters most. After hearing opinions, gathering advice and doing vendor research, you are now ready to decide what matters most to you.
  • Functionality – This should be at the top of your list. Be sure that each of your “must haves” will be addressed.
  • Price – You can ask for an RFI (Request for Information) and RFP (Request for Proposal) from the vendors you are most interested in. This will help you compare to determine a reasonable budget.
  1. Pick a vendor. Once you have narrowed it down to a few vendors, you will want to consider the following before making your final decision:
  • References – Don’t forget to ask for references from the customers, read case studies, etc. to see what others experienced.
  • Budget – Do they meet the budget you set earlier?
  • Support – Will your questions and issues be addressed in a timely manner?
  • Stability – Make sure to pick a company that has been around for a significant amount of time.

Let us know what you think. Are there other aspects that you would look at while picking a biobanking system?