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How to Identify if you are Ready for Lab Automation

Knowing when to introduce lab automation in your lab is not always that obvious.  Many- a – lab have struggled with indecision and trying to figure out if automation is right for their lab at a given point in time.

Let’s be clear: lab automation is not for all labs – at least not yet.  Yes, every lab can benefit from lab automation and the benefits are plentiful.  However, your lab may not just be in the right position to consider introducing automation. 

So how do you know if your lab is ready?   

  1. Consider your sample intake. The inability to keep up with sample intake and processing can have a negative impact on quality and productivity, causing downstream problems and inconsistent results. Hiring additional help to do manual tasks like nucleic acid purification may be necessary in these cases to keep high-throughput experiments running while still being able to take on new projects. However, this growth strategy results in higher technician costs, more time spent training, and higher turnover. Automation can provide both time and cost-effective solutions.
  2. Your labor costs are increasing.  If you find your budget is being stretched by increasing labor costs then you may want to consider a lab automation solution.  Robots don’t need as much supervision and they are more efficient at tedious manual tasks than we are.  In fact, consider automation if your costs in general are rising.  There are cost savings to be had as a result of less errors, increased reproducibility, greater productivity and consistency.
  3. Your valued scientists are spending too much time on boring manual tasks and it’s evident in their engagement levels.  Team satisfaction tends to improve with automation.  Why?  Team members can now focus on value adding activities and have more thinking time to be creative.  Your team is made up of highly intelligent people who went to university, made multiple sacrifices and all because they love science.  Don’t waste such talent on repetitive, boring tasks such as pipetting!
  4. Your goals have changed – meaning, your lab wants to expand and pursue a high growth strategy.  To do so, you’ll need to manage your costs efficiently and leverage your resources in the most effective manner. Automation can certainly help here.
  5. Errors and safety issues are creeping up.  These are avoidable and they can contribute significantly to costs as well as to hurting your reputation which in turn can lead to lost business. 

To further help with your decision-making as to whether or not your lab is ready for automation, take our 1 minute Lab Automation Readiness Quiz.  Feel free to get in touch to discuss your current situation and how we can help. 

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