There are over 3,000 lab operations jobs currently available on Indeed and that number is predicted to rise rapidly in 2022. As biotech labs crop up left and right to support scientific and medical innovation, lab operations roles become more critical to helping these startup labs grow.
Moving from pre-clinical to clinical operations requires efficiently managing funding, hiring and retaining lab staff, and maintaining research timelines to hit milestones. Here’s how labs are relying on organized operations workflows to scale and innovate.
Without lab operations, bench scientists, lab technicians, and lab managers end up spending their precious lab time doing clerical work, manual tasks, and...looking for things. With automated lab operations, labs can increase their capacity for experiments and maximize use of biotech funding.
Daily inventory management is tedious and time-consuming. With automated lab operations, and lab operations software, lab managers can design effective ways to stock, record, and manage inventory and allow managers to track supply information in real-time. Errors in businesses can cost more than just money. Automated lab operations have predefined programs that access and analyze data without any errors and identify areas for optimization or safety improvements.
With streamlined lab operations, managers can easily access and monitor lab supply orders, keep track of supplies, and record all data electronically, without having to worry about human errors and bulky files. Most lab operations offer end-to-end digital solutions and integrations, minimizing human intervention.
Traditionally, lab managers or researchers within a lab engaged in the activity of data entry and inventory management. When expert scientists with advanced training perform manual tasks, it incurs unreasonable operational costs for labs and affects overall lab productivity. Not to mention, it requires a lot of time and effort and is prone to human error, which has a significant impact on research outcomes. Automated lab operation software can reduce operational costs by freeing up scientists’ time and allowing them to focus on their research, instead.
Efficient lab processes and automated inventory management free up a lot of time for researchers. This helps lab functions in the following ways:
Just like any other business, biotech labs are under tremendous pressure to deliver profits. It’s estimated that if a lab manager spends 30% of their time on paperwork, the organization spends $300K+ annually on manual documentation tasks that are also prone to mistakes, costing labs even more. Automation here saves the day by allowing lab managers to identify redundant processes and cut them off.
Lack of a reliable lab operation system can be confusing and misleading, leading to extra waste or the use of improper lab supplies. With automated lab operations software, lab managers like you can track inventory and supply in real-time, avoiding the use of expired chemicals or other supplies.
While each lab may have slightly different responsibilities and goals for a lab operations manager, these are the common job requirements for the role:
In some labs, regular lab compliance and training sessions or audits might be included in the lab operations manager’s scope.
Use this checklist to review opportunities for improved lab operations, or outline the responsibilities for hiring a new lab operations manager.
A recent Oracle HRM Survey claims that just 47% of employees feel their leaders are available and approachable. If your employees don’t feel engaged in the workplace, they’re less likely to feel satisfied at work and give their best. As a lab manager, it’s important to have positive, open relationships with the researchers and scientists in the lab. Some of the great ways to establish a connection are to:
Automated processes save time and allow human resources to be utilized in a productive manner. They streamline workflows and lab resources, contributing to increased productivity, efficiency and better profit margins. There was a time when labs needed various software to manage different functions.
In today’s technology-driven world, integrated software systems provide end-to-end support and organize all lab functions under the same roof, saving more time, energy and subscription costs.
As lab operations manager, evaluate the current tech stack in the lab and seek out ways to consolidate and optimize.
Lab employees are in constant connection with hazardous chemicals and dangerous equipment. Set up ongoing training opportunities and create an onboarding process using pre-recorded videos and asynchronous materials to avoid having to teach the same sessions over and over again.
Lab equipment is costly and requires constant care and maintenance to run smoothly. Here’s a quick lab equipment maintenance checklist for lab managers:
For a seamless supply chain and sourcing relationships to be long-lasting, lab managers must sustain vendor relationships. Here’s how to make the most of supplier management:
Quality audits assure that the lab processes are in complete alignment with the established quality regulations. As lab managers, your goal should be to establish a regular audit that evaluates supplies, equipment, workflows, and lab processes.