1998/1999 US MSPPSA report on HPLC in the Life Sciences

187 pages, 121 graphs and tables

Published: July 23, 1998

Price: $2795

HPLC - Undercurrents & Riptides Trap the Unwary

Like a Pacific beach on a fine day, the HPLC market appears well-characterized, benign, and predictable. But overconfidence in this constantly evolving business can trap the unwary and complacency can cause even the strongest to flounder. To succeed and prosper, you need the fresh primary measured market research in PhorTech International's new 187 page report. Today, over 43,000 US life science researchers are using HPLC, spending over $250 million annually on instrumentation and columns. While only a portion of the entire HPLC market, this segment is where the currents of change are strongest.

For a better understanding of the results in this report, data from different sections of the publication are presented here. Let's begin with an examination of the installed base of instrumentation including complete systems, sample injectors, pumps, detectors, and data analysis.

Accurate, independent and periodic assessment of market share is basic to understanding one's position in the market and sensibly takes place prior to investing in marketing plans. The data shows the recent dollar market share for the installed base of all HPLC instrumentation in the respondent database. Continued increases in market share by H-P has now brought Waters traditional dominance into question. In addition, the report provides overall and individual instrument unit share along with placements by year. U.S. estimated sales by year are presented in a table along with estimated annual units sold and average prices paid for major manufacturers. These results are based upon an analysis of the more than 900 responses to over 3,700 surveys mailed out to US life science researchers late last year.

In order to better understand respondents' usage of a technique, a series of topics relating to scientific methodologies is integral to the report. In the data, we see that the number of weekly injections for prep-scale work varies greatly among respondents, but peaks at 5 injections per week. This can be used to better understand instrument usage patterns. A similar analysis is conducted for analytical scale separations. In the data, we examine various classes of samples that are purified or analyzed by HPLC. A verbatim table includes details of the rich 'other' sample class.

A complete analysis of column purchases by respondent yields a rich database that permits the complete analysis of the current HPLC column market. Not only the overall market is analyzed, but market shares for major column types are also calculated. Furthermore, this data can be used to show the exposure various suppliers have to different segments of the market. In the data, we can see the importance of ion chromatography column sales to Dionex.

A variety of customer satisfaction measurements are made for leading vendors of HPLC instrumentation. Respondents rated leading suppliers specifically in the areas of most reliable quality, greatest innovation, most price worthy, best field service, and commitment to the field.

The data shows the ratings for most price worthy. It is apparent that two startlingly different suppliers lead the race. Knowledge of market rankings such as this yields powerful results, illuminating areas of strength and weakness for each of the major players in the market. Such knowledge can provide insights into winning strategies for building market shares against even entrenched competition.

The report also itemizes hundreds of specific verbatim suggestions for improvements of both HPLC instrumentation and columns by current users, as well as comments as to which suppliers they would recommend and which they would refuse to buy from, and why respondents would or would not purchase certain brands. Reading these comments is equivalent to spending weeks of time in the field with end-users and provides essential insight for suppliers to this substantial market.

The third report covering HPLC, this new examination brings a fresh perspective to this complex business. You have just seen a small sampling of the conclusions from this report. A total of 121 graphs and tables are included in the full report that distill a wealth of data into a clear and salient tool for understanding this market. This report should be considered required reading for suppliers interested in evaluating their present market position, identifying their marketing strengths and weaknesses, and developing sustainable competitive advantage.

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