Challenging the lab status quo

May 19, 2023 | Lab Furniture

Many laboratories have long-term goals with regards to improving safety, reduction of operational costs, and mitigation of environmental impact. These goals, however ambitious, can be beneficial for the organization. There is a need to take time and challenge existing assumptions to yield more significant results that could lead to the fulfillment of long-term goals.

Lab Manager gave the following tips on how labs can challenge their status quo:

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Nothing changes if nothing changes

There is a need to re-evaluate processes used in daily lab operations and take up alternatives that could lead to improvement, resulting in the same quality data but accomplished in a much lesser fraction of time and with less reagent. The same goes with evaluating energy costs, equipment and technologies. This can help determine opportunities in reducing the lab’s carbon footprint. For instance, considering ductless technologies can reduce energy consumption and costs and can benefit changing workflows in the future. 

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Challenge assumptions with data

In navigating change, taking time in evaluating specific parameters will allow the lab’s particular needs and goals to be met. Acquiring the right supporting data can demonstrate what changes are needed and can help in making informed decisions and opportunities for improvement. For example, doing an ROI (return on investment) calculation can provide ideas into the potential benefits of using a different approach or technique. Another would be to consult and work with manufacturers and vendors to get specific equipment testing and performance data. 

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Consider the entire team

Whenever changes in equipment and technologies are considered, a lot of information can be acquired from the end users. Taking notes of feedback given by the team can provide a clearer and more accurate understanding of the challenges and needs. Ensuring that the investment in new equipment or technologies meets the needs of the users is crucial towards attaining safety and efficiency. 

Though it may be hard to achieve these goals, re-examining the status quo can lead lab leaders to find solutions and strategies that support their efforts towards their aim.

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