Contact Us


Matthew J. Perricone, Ph.D. 22 min read

What to Expect From a Product and Material Testing Lab


Matthew J. Perricone, Ph.D.

As a manufacturer, one of your biggest challenges is balancing time efficiency and quality during product development. The materials you select play a critical role in maintaining a competitive edge as the product development market continues to grow.

However, when it comes to testing and validating these materials, manufacturers face long turnaround times, poor fidelity in sample handling, and limited testing capabilities. Multiple tests, like metallurgy, coatings, corrosion, wear testing, and failure analysis often require multiple labs. As a result, manufacturers often have to retest materials, delay product launches, or hire multiple testing partners.

That’s why combining scientific expertise, regulatory compliance, and quick yet accurate material testing is vital. Scientific consultancies are the solution to these issues as an all-in-one product and material testing lab partner. They give you access to the services you need under one roof, providing you with comprehensive lab testing capabilities, investigative testing, and a wide variety of scientific experts.

If you’re considering a - materials testing lab partner, it’s important to know what to look for so you can choose a scientific consultancy that meets your needs. Before taking the step of partnering with a third party, you should know what to expect. Below, we provide expert insights and expectations into what a model partnership with a scientific testing lab looks like.

What Sets Experienced Scientific Consulting Firms Apart as Testing Partners?

High-level scientific consulting firms offer comprehensive services ranging from raw and finished material testing to product failure analysis. They give you access to scientific experts who can leverage their knowledge in various fields like materials, chemical analysis, and geology to guide you toward what you need from your product. They offer in-depth investigation and problem-solving skills that go above and beyond routine test methods.

In contrast, most laboratories offer a list of standardized tests and offer limited industry or application expertise or additional testing capabilities. Hiring a laboratory can result in the need for multiple testing partners and increased costs. Additionally, a standard laboratory may not provide you with the industry-specific knowledge your project needs. 

That’s why you want to hire a scientific consultancy that can offer comprehensive testing services and the expertise of veteran scientists across multiple disciplines. An experienced scientific consulting firm that can offer you all the expertise you need in one place. 

When you look for a testing partner with experience in your industry, you can ensure your product needs are met. With scientific guidance, you can gain invaluable insights into needed materials, what to test, and how to sample from the beginning. 

This guidance can help manufacturers take full advantage of their partnership with a scientific consulting firm. While a standard laboratory will only have the capability to perform standardized tests, scientific consulting firms offer cutting-edge laboratory services that allow clients to identify and analyze the properties of different materials. 

These tests can include:

  • SEM testing: Scanning electron microscopy testing allows for high-resolution imaging of a material. SEM testing gives you more information about material chemical composition and structure.

  • XRD: X-ray Diffraction allows for quick, accurate characterization of almost any material.

  • XRF: X-ray Fluorescence gives you a specific understanding of the elemental composition of any material.

  • PTR-MS: Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry provides real-time data about the presence of VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

  • TOF-MS: Time-of-flight mass spectrometry helps to determine the composition and structure of a substance by acceleration of ions in an electric field.

When you work with qualified product testing labs, you work with scientists who can speak your language, increase your testing capabilities, and guide you toward the expertise you need.

Your first experience with your ideal testing partner should be expert advice that’s tailored to your product needs, not a sales pitch. The most experienced materials and product testing laboratories will start your project with a hands-on kick-off call to gather all of the information they need to set you up for success, whether your focus is on concrete, environmental health and safety, or geology.

What Does a Kick-Off Call with a Material and Product Testing Lab Entail?

The initial step in partnering with a material and product testing lab is the kick-off call, which aims to align the lab's services with your specific needs. Your scientific testing partners will take this time to explain how your working relationship will integrate into your processes.

During this call, your scientific partners will outline how they support the product lifecycle and what stages of the product lifecycle they can support the most. They will also discuss how they plan to optimize your product development outcomes.

A consulting team will be a seamless extension of your own in-house team, providing additional testing and expertise when you encounter scientific obstacles your in-house labs cannot overcome. They can also provide comprehensive in-house testing with the close communication and coordination you would expect from your in-house laboratory.

Overall, you can view your partnership as a force multiplier that brings more testing, more staff, more experience, and more viewpoints. By starting off your partnership with a thorough kick-off call, you can ensure fast collaboration that’s tailored to your product and material testing needs.

“80% of business leaders believe that product development speed is vital to their business success.”- Gitnux Market Data Report 2024

Qualities to Look for in Your Material and Product Testing Partners

One of the major benefits of an experienced scientific consulting partner is their ability to expedite the time it takes to get a product to market. Here’s what to look for in a scientific consultancy to ensure they will support fast, high-quality product development.

High Fidelity

Incorporating precise sample handling and established chain of custody protocols minimizes the need for re-testing, conserving time, and resources. An experienced scientific consulting firm ensures sample integrity, enhancing the accuracy and reliability of test results.

Proven Speed and Reliability

Selecting a laboratory partner with a verified record of meeting its turnaround time commitments is critical. RJ Lee Group prides itself on a 98% success rate in achieving turnaround time goals and meeting project deadlines, underpinning our commitment to our customers. We offer a 10-day turnaround on tests that take weeks elsewhere, as well as expedited service for critical applications.

When you partner with a scientific consulting lab that can meet high standards, you’re ensuring your products can reach the market at the speed you want and the quality they deserve.

Common Questions About Working with a Scientific Consulting Lab

Whether you’ve worked with an outsourced scientific consulting lab before or are new to the process, there are a few questions that commonly arise. By asking these questions when entering into a partnership with an outsourced testing lab, you can ensure that your potential partner is well-suited for your specific needs.

How long does onboarding with a scientific consulting team take from start to finish?

The length of the onboarding process depends on the complexity and of the scope of work. When you work with an experienced scientific consulting firm, you can expect standard test  results in a few business days. However, if you require the development and validation of custom testing methods, your anticipated timeline can be several weeks. The experience and capabilities of the lab determine if you are looking at days and weeks of progress, or months and months of delays.

Can you assist with sample collection and preparation?

A lab should be able to provide all relevant sample collection materials and expert instruction on the best procedures for proper sample collection and transport. If you need specialized sampling materials, they should be able to work with you to put together a custom collection kit.

Can you develop custom test methods to meet my unique needs?

An experienced materials and product testing lab should not be restricted to standard test methods. While these satisfy specific regulatory requirements, you may need additional tests to investigate materials and product failures. Experienced testing labs often play a role in the development of industry standards for OSHA, MNSHA, EPA, and others.

Can you help me understand my test results?

Any lab can provide pages of data that detail their test procedures and results. An experienced materials and product testing lab will help you understand the results and their implications for your product and applications. You should have access to experts from all fields who can answer any questions you have to provide a detailed explanation of your test results.

Can you help me communicate my results?

An experienced lab will assist you in preparing presentation materials (reports, slide decks, and videos) using clear language and graphics to communicate test results to whatever your target audience might be, even a judge and jury if needed.

What is your turnaround time (TAT) and can you expedite samples?

TAT is test-dependent, but your lab should offer TAT in days, not months, and expedited service should be available in as little as 24 hours.

Do you have accreditation or certification from relevant regulatory bodies?

Your lab should carry applicable accreditations to your field of study. Your lab should be able to explain their certifications and how they support your specific application.

How many tests can you run and how accurate are they?

An experienced testing partner should run tests across a wide variety of analytes. While every test has a base level of accuracy, an experienced lab will deliver above and beyond that standard to meet your specific requirements. For example, they can detail the minimum size of particles their tests can accurately identify, and how they will adapt to detect particles at a lower size limit if required by your product’s specifications.

Enhance Your Product Development Outcomes with Expert Material and Product Testing Solutions

RJ Lee Group is a scientific laboratory testing partner that provides specialized support for your testing needs. With access to 175+ scientists, you’ll have multi-disciplinary expertise and guidance at your disposal for the duration of your project. We’ll provide scientific recommendations and enhanced testing capabilities throughout our partnership while integrating with your in-house lab.

With our experts, you’ll experience a streamlined product development process with faster turnaround times, high sample fidelity, and a reliable team of scientists available for your needs.

Schedule a meeting with an RJ Lee Group expert today to discuss our testing capabilities.

Expert Tips for Streamlining Materials Testing Processes in Product Development

Learn More

Ready to get started?

Share this blog