The labs of today and tomorrow need to be interconnected to meet the demands of an evolving business landscape. Monitoring system status and health, as well as utilization and availability are critical functions of a connected lab. Connected labs also enable data driven decisions and utilize a much more efficient operational capability. The first and most basic capability of a connected lab is the ability to monitor system status and health. Connected technology alerts prevent breakdowns ensuring that instruments retain optimal performance. Connected labs provide the ability to monitor utilization and availability.
Having visibility of all instruments all at once produces an overall lab footprint from which adjustments are made to make the lab more effective and efficient. Being able to make data driven decisions is the most advantageous aspect of interconnectivity. Assessing throughput, identifying potential bottlenecks, and rebalancing where equipment is deployed depending on need—better connectivity enables all.
Making data driven decisions allows for forecasting how companies should grow based on changing business landscapes. A connected lab is an agile lab. Current instrument utilization averages about 35%. By using interconnective technology, this can increase to 80% or higher because it calculates how much science any particular instrument performs per square inch.
Startups, mid-growth companies, and established veterans alike face different challenges. And the ability to change direction to accommodate new or changing business goals is becoming increasingly important.
Having the right people with the expertise throughout all phases of growth is a smart investment for any business looking to achieve sustainable and profitable growth. For example, a new company looking to set up a new lab from scratch needs help with choosing the right instrumentation for business goals, while an existing lab that needs to relocate wants assistance with managing vendors, and an established lab that is changing their core business requires the ability to pivot quickly.
A reliable partner can identify and recommend solutions for immediate needs such as these and also work with a customer on longer term strategic plans beyond the day to day. In many instances, a business may not even know the right questions to ask to maximize lab efficiency—a trusted authority will. Knowing how to take advantage of an older instrument fleet in order to fund new innovation, for example, or the ability to identify whether or not there is an appropriate level of service contracts. The right team is able to tell a lab if their footprint is right or if it needs to change to minimize risk.
Change management is important particularly during program implementations when a lot changes for customers and when things are most acute and visible. Working with a knowledgeable team can minimize the pain of change. And while implementation is, in many cases, the major initial change, there will almost inevitably be additional change throughout the course of a multi-year program. This is where culture plays a part—sometimes a customer needs a lot of support, but other times very little. The effective team is the one with the cultural understanding and communication skills to recognize the difference and work with it.
The right partner will know what's coming, when it's happening, how to prepare for it—and most importantly, how to articulate it.