Research labs rely on lab managers to keep operations running smoothly. A lab manager’s duties often include both project management and physical resource management. They have to not only ensure that tasks happen on time, but that reagents and samples are stocked and stored properly, that equipment is kept calibrated, and more. Modern lab manager software applications put all of this into the palm of their hand.
Everything a Lab Manager Needs in One Place
While there are existing solutions for project management and laboratory inventory management, lab manager software brings these components and others together in one single application. This makes a lab manager’s life easier, as they don’t have to waste time switching between multiple apps. Data is neither siloed nor unnecessarily duplicated across several platforms.
Perhaps more importantly, lab management applications are designed with the specific needs of a research laboratory in mind. General-purpose project management software is made to be a one-size-fits-all approach, often designed with a typical corporate environment in mind. Lab management software brings together all the resources a lab manager needs, without any extra, unnecessary features.
Lab Manager Software Does it All
Consider the elements of a research lab manager’s job. Most if not all research projects have a deadline, multiple researchers working on them, and a variety of needs. Each project will have its own demands to make on lab resources: staff, reagents or other consumable supplies, and equipment. In a busy laboratory with multiple teams sharing these resources, it is the lab manager’s job to ensure that everyone gets the resources they need; that no intern is stretched too thin, that no centrifuge is double-booked, and that no one runs out of gel medium.
With lab management software, the lab manager or management team can handle all of this within a single application. They can track inventory and order new reagents based on demand (and not worry about wasting resources by over-ordering). They can ensure that not only does everyone get their turn with the equipment, but that calibration, testing, and maintenance are not scheduled during high-demand times. They can keep track of scheduling, to ensure that staffing levels are maintained and that important deadline are not set for the middle of someone’s planned vacation. They can keep an eye on the timeline of a project, and follow up with anyone who has missed a deadline or hit a roadblock in their research.
Important Roles Deserve Good Tools
A lab manager or management team is indispensable. They keep a research lab running smoothly. Because of the importance of their role, lab managers should be empowered with the right tools. They should not be forced to rely on a system cobbled together out of disparate apps. Lab manager software puts the power in their hands.
Whether academic, governmental, or private sector, every lab should consider how they are supporting their laboratory management staff, and whether there’s room for improvements in the resources they are given. An investment in lab management is an investment in lab success.
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