Lab Efficiency

5 Ways to Optimizing your Biotech this Year

To say that the biotech industry is undergoing a transformation is a massive understatement. Global events of the past few years have resulted in rapid innovation across every stage of the R&D process, from initial procurement all the way to the clinical stage of research. No lab has gone untouched by this digital transformation. And while optimizing the lab does increase production, it’s also a way for lab teams to learn how to maximize their resources and for lab managers to reduce operating costs across the board.

Deloitte predicts that successful organizations in a post-COVID-19 world will be those that rebuild their operating frameworks to be more agile using digital integrations and standardized processes. “Success lies in transitioning to the cloud, replacing legacy systems, or leveraging digital orchestration tools…to deliver insights to end users,” reads “The future is now” report on business operating models from Deloitte.

Optimizing your biotech takes time, approvals, and updated tech systems, and the investment pays off in dividends. Now is the time for biotech leaders to look to the future of their industry. What will operating your lab look like at the end of this year? What about at the end of the next five years? How will you build supply chain resilience?

To get your lab started, here are three ways to consider optimizing your biotech this year.

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5 Ways to Optimize your Biotech in 2022

As supply chain disruptions continue to require biotechs to develop resilience and develop strategies to carry on with research regardless, leaders are looking for ways to be even more forward-thinking as they plan out their experiments.

Here are five ways that biotech founders, lab managers, and leaders can make their labs more efficient and make better use of the resources they have to bring research farther.

1. Embrace automation.

The state of the supply chain led to a digital transformation in many biotech labs. Why? They needed improved tracking and management of lab supplies and materials. This digital transformation, which for many looked like moving procurement operations, inventory management, and experiment tracking online, has opened the door for automation in the lab.

Now, lab managers can set up automated alerts and processes that track and monitor experiments, transfer data, re-order lab supplies, and manage invoices. These systems are more accurate than human management, which is prone to error, and ensure health and safety in the lab. With automation, materials are less likely to be expired or late, and machinery is always up to date with repairs and maintenance.

2. Use Artificial Intelligence (AI).

AI in the lab is similar to automation in removing or significantly reducing human error, and it makes lab operations even smarter and more efficient. AI can gather data and help model experiments, and reproduce results at record speeds.

Labs like the IBM lab in Switzerland are using AI and machine learning to use robotics in their scientific research, with robots guiding data analysis, modeling, and data validation. Pharmaceutical companies are turning to AI for the R&D process, speeding up data analysis. When dealing with massive amounts of genetic information, AI can turn years of research and development into months.

3. Optimize the procurement process.

Procurement at many labs looks like spreadsheets, and manually tracking every invoice and supply as it comes into the lab. Digitized procurement reduces hours of data tracking and improves experiment efficiency, allowing lab managers and bench scientists to quickly access their supplies dashboard and see where they stand with supply shipments.

Platforms like ZAGENO integrate with ADP and other finance software, further eliminating manual steps in the procurement process. Learn how labs are taking their lab procurement processes online and streamlining the lab supply process to match the consumer shopping experience.

4. Maintain capital efficiency.

Spending in life sciences surged 22% in recent years, and continues to rise with the increasing price of materials and lab staff. To maintain capital efficiency, labs need to have lean operations wherever possible.

How can your lab implement automated training sessions, reducing the time spent with the entire team in the lab? Or automate lab supply management using software?

Run an efficiency audit of all lab spend to see where there are opportunities for improvement, collaborating with finance, leadership, lab management, and lab staff.

5. Consolidated shared services.

Deloitte’s efficiency survey found that companies can save 15% in annual productivity costs when they consolidate their shared services. In the lab, this can look like consolidating lab supply vendors, maintenance providers, lab staff sourcing, and finance management.

By integrating systems and sharing data, you can also uncover even more opportunities for speed and removing unnecessary steps.

As a biotech lab operating on hundreds of thousands of dollars per day, every second of lab operations time counts. Here’s the Definitive Spend Control Checklist for Biotech Labs as you craft your budget for the quarters to come.

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