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Customer Success Story: Newcastle University

When Robert Stewart, Facilities Manager at Newcastle University, completed his oversight of a major refurbishment and redesign of the university's Comparative Biology Centre facility, he saw a chance to upgrade his lab animal housing equipment as well.

"It gave me the ideal opportunity to consider updating and replacing some of our current IVCs, which were over 10 years old," said Mr. Stewart.

Understanding that his choice for new IVCs would be one he'd have to live with for at least the next 10 years or more, Mr. Stewart - who is Facilities Manager for three animal research facilities at Newcastle, the Comparative Biology Centre plus the Institute of Human Genetics and the Campus for Ageing and Vitality - did his homework; compiling information on lab animal housing providers by researching online, speaking to sales representatives, and visiting trade stands at various meetings and conferences.

"Companies were then invited to tender," said Mr. Stewart, "For what was initially a very small order of four IVC racks, and tender compliant companies were short listed."

Allentown was one of those short listed companies, ultimately winning the job through a combination of competitive pricing and high-functioning product value.

"The final selection came down to two things," continued Mr. Stewart, "the price - Allentown's overall cost, particularly based on the quality of the product and high level of service support, was extremely competitive; and the second thing was technician response - whilst the tender process was moving forwards Allentown kindly provided some trial NexGen caging which the technicians were able try. The response from the technicians and the research staff was very positive - commenting particularly on "ease of use" and "how quiet the blowers were."

As a result of using those initial, four NexGen IVCs for the last 18 months - as well as a number of Phantom Animal Transfer Stations and the WiVarium Plus blower control and rack monitoring tablet app - the Institute of Human Genetics has completely replaced all of its IVCs with NexGen IVCs employing a combination of rack mounted and tower blowers.

"Moving from functional, but somewhat dated, IVCs we have been able to benefit from the R&D that has taken place over the last decade," noted Mr. Stewart, "including better ergonomics, quieter operation and WiFi monitoring."

In addition to the value received from Allentown's products, Mr. Stewart also had praise for the company's fulfillment and service organizations.

"The whole process from ordering the products to delivery has been absolutely seamless on every occasion with excellent communication throughout," he said, "and product support from all those at Allentown has been superb. Any questions have been answered quickly, and solutions developed, even though the Allentown sales manager had to interrupt his holiday to do so!"

Up next for Mr. Stewart and Newcastle is the implementation of Sentinel™ EAD®, Allentown's new colony health monitoring solution that produces more accurate results, reduces labor and cost, and requires less sentinel animals than traditional dirty bedding sentinel testing.


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