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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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How to Spend Your Grant Money: Top Lab Management Tips

 

Securing lab equipment on a tight budget can be a challenge. Start-up packages and grants may be significant sums, but a few key pieces of lab equipment can devour the funds in no time. The best way to stretch your funds is to work with the most basic supplies possible. With a little effort, you can find money-savings deals and bargains on lab equipment. You can try economical sharing and borrow old equipment from other labs or work out a sharing system. You can also get clever about the equipment you use. Hardware stores and restaurants may have similar or identical equipment that meets your lab needs for sale.

 

Consider the bigger picture when planning.

It's important not to lose sight of the big picture when handling the responsibilities of lab management. Most successful labs rely on three to five-year plans that help guide their business strategies. It's the lab manager's responsibility to ensure all experiments conducted by lab members work toward a common goal. When you can see the bigger picture you can measure the progress of the lab's research and keep it on track. Write a mission statement that guides the motivations of the lab and helps your team recognize the steps required to achieve the mission.

 

Starting your lab with a simple setup is a smart way to save money in the beginning. Self-storage units can be used as more than just secure places to store belongings. You can find storage unit sizes whose prices align with your budget. You can find the best self-storage facilities in the United States with U.S. Storage Units. Simply type "climate controlled storage near me" into Google and you can compare storage prices at facilities in cities across the country. You can find climate control storage units in a variety of sizes that protect against humidity, mold, and mildew. A storage facility can offer the necessary space and function that you need from a traditional lab at a fraction of the cost.

 

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Organizing goes beyond a clean workspace.

The organization of your lab plays an important role in the workflow. It's important that your time, people, and lab space are organized to conduct research smoothly. Hold regular lab meetings to help keep your lab members focused on their goals, keep them informed, and run brainstorming and troubleshooting sessions.

 

A key responsibility of a lab manager is asset management. You need to stay on top of every piece of equipment, perform inventory management, and track work orders. Using the right equipment tracking software can streamline the asset management process. Asset management software provides lifecycle tracking for every piece of equipment and real-time data to help you better utilize existing assets.

An asset management solution from Asset Panda gives you key features such as a mobile app that allows you to monitor asset tracking from your mobile device. With real-time access to every job site on your mobile device, you'll have enhanced accountability. You can track your preventative maintenance schedule with notifications, generate custom invoices, and scan barcodes and QR codes. Using a mobile solution designed to streamline asset management will help you make better purchasing decisions and keep your budget under control.

 

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Invest in the necessary equipment to help your employees succeed.

Lab managers are expected to fix problems when they arise. Take a preventative approach by clearly communicating your standards and expectations with your lab members from the start. Your lab members won't know what you expect of them if you don't communicate. It's also important to ensure that your lab members have the right equipment they need to properly conduct their research.

 

Tap water is full of contaminants and impurities that can affect the quality of the experiments. Using a deionization water treatment system can remove impurities such as particulates, calcium, sodium, and salt. Deionized Water (DI Water) is the result of an ion exchange process that produces pure water through deionization. The process removes impurities from water using ion-exchange resins such as cation resin and anion resin. Complete Water Solutions provides deionization equipment designed to provide pure water for high quality, high purity applications. Ensuring your lab members have the right equipment is an investment in their success.

Starting a lab starts by responsibly managing your available funds in alignment with your budget. Keep the big picture in sight, run an organized lab and team, manage your assets, and invest in the success of your employees.

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