As 2016 comes to an end, we must rejoice in our achievements and seriously evaluate our failures. This includes assessing instrumentation utilization and identifying processes where lab automation should play a critical part in your laboratory. Also, one must look at systems that continuously failed at critical stages of research.
The worst thing we can do is to repeat our failures by not addressing systems and processes that have let us down. So what critical piece of laboratory instrumentation has failed at the most inopportune time? What piece consistently exhibits failure and is prone to wasteful inefficiencies? In monetary terms, how much has this system cost you in lost research, redirected labor, wasted reagents, and loss of valuable samples? Do you have a replacement strategy, a back-up plan, or a redundancy prospect in the event that a critical asset fails? How will you overcome critical equipment failures in 2017?
One suggestion is to ensure you have properly maintained all of your instrumentation throughout the year. Preventative maintenance (PM) on your critical lab equipment should be a part of your 2017 plans. A PM Service can most often address issues in lab equipment before they can impact your workflow. First, identify those critical assets. Second, establish industry recommended PM service intervals, thirdly consider implementing a redundant asset strategy to ensure "up-time" and continuous operation. Certified, pre-owned instrumentation is a great way to stretch your precious budget dollars and to help to ensure you lab will operate smoothly and efficiently. If you want to increase throughput and efficiency, don't forget to consider lab automation as your path forward.