If you have a centralized lab or shared facilities, Agilent CrossLab Enterprise Services can give you insights into improving efficiency, optimizing resources, and increasing instrument uptime. Our asset management, compliance, operational, and digital services work together to simplify, optimize, and transform your lab operations.
Meeting your organization’s scientific and business objectives requires productive lab instruments, a clear line of sight into costs, and the flexibility to pivot when necessary. An asset management program makes that all possible. How? By empowering decision makers, driving value through innovation, and creating a culture of trust, transparency, and purpose-driven execution.
More than just choosing an instrument maintenance plan
Asset management is a strategy applied across your laboratory fleet that spans the asset life cycle—from planning and acquisition to salvage and disposal.
A comprehensive asset management program—organized and executed by a trusted partner—can help optimize your lab operations with a foundation of continuous innovation. It also helps you find strategic answers to questions like these:
Can you balance your workload with the instruments you have?
Effective asset management ensures that you have the right technology in working order for continuous operation. Having a good handle on your fleet also will inform your technology-refresh strategy, including when to retire instruments that are only operating “well enough.”
How productive are your instruments?
Asset performance management uses sophisticated analytics to give you visibility into which instruments are being used and how. You can use these insights to plan ahead, improve efficiencies, and drive profitability.
Can you take on more work?
A thriving asset management program lets you focus on the goals that will propel your business forward. Once in place, you have a foundation that you can grow, pivot, and expand as environmental and market conditions require.
Does your service strategy deliver the right results?
To support your laboratory operations, work with experienced, trusted partners who share the goal of optimizing your instrument investment. Apply their insights toward making the right choices to balance spend and productivity while ensuring transparent, quantifiable savings and benefits.
How do you establish a foundation for success?
A strong asset management program goes beyond instrument tracking. It also includes documenting service contracts, implementing instrument utilization, conducting regular inventory cycle counts, and overseeing inventory movement.
Whether your organization is developing a program or already has one in place, there are several fundamentals that ensure productivity, cost management, and flexibility.
Maintain an accurate inventory
What’s the basis for making appropriate, informed, and data-driven decisions about your assets? Knowing what instruments and equipment you have on hand.
Confidence in your inventory will guide your thinking about using your capital equipment budget and maximizing your operations budget. It will also help you build an effective service strategy and unlock hidden asset value. How? By identifying ways to better utilize existing equipment, or decommissioning assets that no longer support your goals.
Establish a system to inventory and catalog everything in your lab, and monitor additions and deletions. If you have a CMMS or EAM system, make sure it’s up to date with the latest inventory.
Take steps toward standardization
Review your workflows, equipment, and instruments with an eye toward sharing and consolidation. This process can also help your lab increase standardization that, in turn, can begin a consolidation of service vendors.
It’s also wise to examine existing services, processes, and contracts, so you don’t have to start from scratch. Recognizing what types of maintenance and repair work has been done in the past helps rationalize which services should be continued and which should be re-examined.
One of the benefits of a well-run asset management program is that it provides “space” to focus on process, structural, or other improvements. However, change isn’t easy for most organizations.
That’s why committing to change management is critical. Be ready to enlist the help of a project manager or partner with change management skills and a strong communication strategy to help guide you forward.
Maintain internal and external compliance
To maintain the credibility of your operations, your lab should comply with its protocols and policies. It’s also important to follow standards set by federal agencies and comply with operational qualification and other documentation processes as both will help your lab achieve successful audits, protect your brand name, and give analysts more time to focus on the science.
How do you raise your lab efficiency,
not your investment?
A large part of your productivity depends on having instruments that meet operational requirements and enable you to remain current with your testing and analytical workflows. But evolving technologies, changing industry requirements, and constrained capital budgets complicate decisions about new instrument purchases.
To buy or not to buy?
Organizations receive many requests for new instrument purchases, particularly during annual budget cycles. Before committing to a new acquisition, consider the opportunities for cost avoidance by redeploying assets already within your organization.
Using available instruments enables your organization to focus its capital budget on advancing its science further. Your lab can also implement these assets more quickly than it would by purchasing, installing, and validating new equipment. For these reasons, the best asset management programs include a visible inventory of instruments, including utilization data.
Choose assets that support your lab workflows today—and tomorrow
New technologies are emerging that may be more compatible with your workflow, lab data systems, and your team’s technical skills. Several factors contribute toward your total cost of ownership.
For starters, choosing an instrument from the same manufacturer as the rest of your fleet may minimize your need for service, IT, and operations management. According to a recent Agilent study, labs with harmonized instrument manufacturers resolve over two-thirds of new instrument service calls without an onsite visit.
You also need to consider the ongoing need for training. Be sure that your team is equipped to make productive use of an instrument by understanding its operational and maintenance requirements.
Not every situation requires a new instrument
You may be able to increase throughput or extend your lab capabilities with a certified pre-owned instrument. Be sure to confirm, however, that refurbishments are conducted to factory standards, firmware and software are authorized and current, and the warranty is comprehensive.
You’re ready to purchase a new instrument. What now?
You might be concerned about the financial risks of traditional instrument acquisition approaches. Capacity metrics will go a long way toward helping you select your best path to purchasing. Consider these factors:
How long will you use these instruments?
How will you preserve your budget to handle the projects you have now?
Can you maintain instrument performance through regular updates?
Which new technologies will help you stay in front of evolving regulations?
Consider flexible purchase options
Working with a partner like Agilent helps you choose an acquisition option that supports your business and scientific goals, while reducing your risk profile.
These models may include a traditional CapEx purchase, an operating lease (pay for use), or a capital lease (pay to own). Our newest models also extend to short-term rentals and subscriptions that include instrument, services, training, consumables, and workflow support.
Does your service strategy support your business objectives?
Staying ahead of the competition means running your lab like a business. And that involves weighing tough decisions about reducing costs and maximizing operational output against the risks of instrument downtime, employee displacement, and increasingly stringent regulations.
Spend optimization related to service strategy
Evaluating contracts and vendors
As the breadth and depth of your asset base grows, effectively managing instrument service and vendors becomes critical to your success. When evaluating vendors, ask yourself these questions:
How transparent is the pricing structure?
Are financial clarity and optimization enabled through analytical tools?
Does your contract entitlement fit your business needs?
Choosing to invest in a harmonized service strategy, consolidated through one trusted partner with focused expertise in the scientific laboratory, brings visibility and confidence into your service spend.
Laboratory audits and inspections continue to identify data integrity problems and risks all over the world. And that means you must be prepared to address fundamental questions about Analytical Instrument Qualification (AIQ) compliance during audits.
A knowledgeable compliance partner can give you insights into validation and qualification. So, you can be confident that your equipment and processes comply, regardless of technology or manufacturer. They should also offer audit-ready paperless software for instrument qualification and reporting that allows you to simplify deployment and preserve data integrity.
Eliminating the risk of sourcing services globally
There’s no room for error when you’re identifying, selecting, and assigning service providers for your multivendor laboratory. That’s why Agilent oversees a global network of suppliers to ensure that every expectation is met.
In addition, our sourcing managers are domain experts in the laboratory field and all suppliers, including OEMs, must complete a detailed assessment. Service entitlements are also managed by a dedicated support specialist.
A lab-first approach to risk management
Minimizing risk allows you to continuously evolve your asset management program—even when your organization is spread globally. So, you can focus on what matters and position your lab for future success.
How much are you spending…
and is it advancing your lab’s goals?
Before you can align your budget with your strategic objectives, you need to know how much money your lab spent last year—and where. To start, consider how the following aspects apply to your lab.
Does your lab have the right coverage?
Evaluate whether you’ve chosen the best services for critical assets, and how much instrument downtime, audits, and other “unpredictables” are costing you.
Have you optimized technology and efficiency?
Determine where you can reduce wasteful spending, and what resources you need to minimize workflow bottlenecks. Also consider investing in more innovative technologies and green EOL programs.
Are you maximizing value from suppliers?
Make sure you are getting the most from your service contracts, and are not overspending to manage supplier invoices.
Unlock the full potential of your instruments
Do you know how your instruments are being used? The operational data that you collect from your hardware can give you valuable insights into improving performance. However, collecting data manually—and relying on paper-based reports—is time-consuming, inconsistent across instrument manufacturers, and hard to quantify. What’s more, it won’t give you a complete understanding of your workflow or lab productivity.
Through digital asset monitoring, you can easily capture and measure lab-wide instrument use, so you can make data-driven decisions that will help you optimize lab operations.
Lab-wide asset monitoring, made easy
CrossLab Asset Monitoring pulls together IoT and data analysis capabilities to enable digital lab-wide visibility. It integrates sensor-based asset monitoring with business analytics, giving you validated operational insights.
Optimize spend management through vendor consolidation
By controlling service costs, you make more room in your budget for mission-critical tasks like qualification, computer system validation, and asset life cycle management. Yet, it’s tough to ascertain whether you’re getting the highest value from your provider.
When you partner with Agilent, you never have to make decisions alone. You can count on expert guidance and insights, based on your processes, objectives, and operational needs.
Here are three questions to which every vendor should be able to answer “yes”:
Do they provide services across all chromatography and mass spectrometry instruments that comprise your analytical fleet, regardless of manufacturer?
Can they maximize spending power through strategic partnerships with highly vetted third-party and OEM vendors?
Does their team share an understanding of your unique business needs and work in harmony to support your lab goals?
One advantage of strategic life-cycle management is that it ultimately allows you to turn older or little-used instruments into money. So, you can purchase the technologies you need to stay competitive.
Timing is everything
Before you decommission or salvage an instrument, you should assess whether you can redeploy it within your organization. Instrument sharing, for example, avoids duplicate instrument purchases while extending useful life.
Assets approaching their end of life can become a costly maintenance burden, while unused assets may be an untapped source of funds for new instruments.
We recommend the following steps when deciding whether older instruments hold value:
Implement a strategic life-cycle plan for all equipment throughout your fleet.
Routinely review equipment across your lab—especially after inventory or relocation.
Plan for instrument decommissioning and salvaging based on factors such as age, repair and maintenance needs, use, depreciation, and market value.
Identify partners who can manage the logistics of asset salvaging and selling.
How much are your older instruments worth?
Trading-in your old instruments can give you the funds you need to upgrade to the latest technologies. Agilent trade-in and buyback services give you cash or credit for your older chromatography, MS, and spectroscopy instruments. We’ll handle the disposition of your used Agilent and non-Agilent instruments, and dispose of them in an environmentally responsible manner.