Since your lab instruments are valuable assets which require proper care, we need basic knowledge in order to extend the laboratory’s lifespan. According to Ted Palashis, president of Overbrook Support Services (Boston, MA), there are essentially five phases involved in life cycle management including start-up, operational, expansion or relocation, maturity, and exit.
During the start-up phase, laboratories must acquire essential instruments and equipment to support their operations. Experts advise that we need to able to face some common maintenance issues associated with particular tools, as well as price and availability. Due to the fact that these devices might be brought overseas workflows may be paused while replacement parts ship.
In the second stage, an assessment would help labs determine where a bottleneck may occur if an instrument is offline and investigate service and support options.
Relocation could be the most challenging work in the laboratory’s life cycle. The organization is critical for a smooth transition, and working with an asset management firm can be especially helpful. It takes a large coordinated effort to relocate a laboratory successfully, and there are dozens of factors to consider. It’s undeniable that a detailed and accurate asset list will help. Minor oversights can have significant implications; for example, “you can’t install your instruments if gases weren’t plumbed properly, or if power receptacles aren’t in the right place.” Lab instrumentation specialists are aware of these considerations and can facilitate relocation.
Once the Labs comes to the maturity phase, productivity is at its peak. We should have a precise working process to keep maximum capacity of assets. It would be great if we already have a specialist in our organization; otherwise outsource is not a bad idea.
At the last point of the life cycle when a lab that is merging, downsizing, or closing, assets must be repurposed or decommissioned and sold or adequately disposed of. Typically, the lab’s owner would want to gain back partly their investment. Still, it’s surely not an easy task cause auction companies usually don’t have the required expertise nor is it within their operating model to optimize the value of individual high-cost assets which make up the majority of the value of an asset sale.
Another aspect is personnel management which has a significant impact on productivity. For example, if a scientist is spending an hour on the phone with a service vendor that is an hour of productivity lost. The suggestion is working with an asset management firm who can boost the cost-effective.