At Genohub, not only do we seek feedback from researchers, our development methodology is almost entirely based on this feedback. We receive this feedback via website forms as well as routine one-on-one conversations with some of the top researchers using next generation sequencing for their projects. Through this data and interaction, certain trends have begun to emerge which may be useful to an NGS provider seeking additional projects. This list is not based on a controlled experiment, however countless conversations indicate that these factors are extremely important:
- Turnaround time – this one is a toss up when compared with price, but we typically find turnaround time to be among the leading factors in a researcher’s decision to select an NGS provider. We have heard quite a few stories of researchers seeing turnaround times over several months for library prep and sequencing.
- Price – while this is one of the biggest factors for researchers, it must be qualified with established trust which is the next major factor.
- Trust – this one is a biggie for many researchers and often a non-starter if not established. The main reasons for this are that researchers are hesitant to ship their precious samples (ie human brain tissue) to an NGS provider for quite often costly sequencing if they are not confident in their abilities. Researchers have told us some of the things they look for which lend to building their confidence:
- Referrals & Reviews – researchers seek out colleagues who have done similar projects and look for recommendations. Word of mouth is one of the biggest methods researchers rely on to select an NGS provider.
- Publications – providers who are listed in publications involving similar projects.
- What kind of QC will be run on the sample.
- Overall experience indicators such as time in business and volume of samples regularly handled.
- Data and sample security.
- Location – this factor is considerably important if previous trust is not established. Some researchers have absolutely no problem shipping samples across the globe, while others might physically drive their samples to a local provider to ensure sample integrity.
We would love to hear your feedback on this topic whether you are an NGS provider, or a researcher actively using next sequencing. What other decision driving criteria have you found as a provider, or what are some other factors important to you as a researcher?