Managing a productive lab and keeping it running smoothly is a challenging thing to accomplish. Below, our laboratory consulting experts have listed several suggestions to set your lab up for ongoing success, whether your grant deadlines are quickly approaching or you're dealing with an excessive number of samples.
Lab inventory comprises all the reagents and samples your lab will demand for experiments or diagnostic research. The most effective way to maintain inventory is to have a method to organize, classify, and follow samples that employ barcodes. However, the labels you employ for your tubes, vials, bins, and racks must be suitable for the conditions they'll face. For instance, cryogenic labels are perfect for any samples or cell lines kept in liquid nitrogen or reagents held in freezers. It also helps to alphabetize your products where feasible. Sifting through a wardrobe of potentially dangerous chemicals is more manageable when everybody knows precisely where to locate each reagent.
Preserving lab infrastructure is critical to guaranteeing the integrity of your specimens and reagents. For example, You must maintain freezers and refrigerators at the correct temperature, replenish liquid nitrogen tanks, and balance the CO2/O2 concentrations in each incubator. Systems that monitor your storage supplies, delivering real-time updates and notices while maintaining detailed logs and statements of all parameter-related action help automate this process and guarantee nothing is overlooked. Utilizing a cloud-based framework, these kinds of systems can combine all reports into a single interface that will notify the lab members when something goes awry. Remember, general contamination can be evaded by constantly cleaning your bench with sanitizing wipes, 70% ethanol solution, or bleach, unfailingly applying UV to your biosafety cabinet when not using it, and regularly refilling the water supply to your water baths. It's also an excellent idea to de-ice your freezers periodically to remove extra ice that may block the door.
Infusing time in workflow management will allow you to track inventory, enhance sample traceability, and improve the overall productivity of your personnel. Implementing a laboratory information management system (LIMS) is the most suitable way. A LIMs notes the motion of each sample through the testing process, tracks its chain of custody, and allows users to schedule downstream processing, testing, and analysis readily. Using barcoded labels is essential to gaining the most from your LIMS, as both will assist in sample tracking and traceability.
Effective communication is essential regardless of the kind of lab you work in. Still, with each associate habitually working on diverse projects or techniques, it's easy to fall out of the practice of working together. Lab meetings are an excellent way to problem-solve, particularly at the start of the week, so everybody knows their tasks and how to achieve them. Establishing rapport with your coworkers outside the laboratory also helps, as everybody should be invested in each others' success, mainly since they allow the whole lab to in the long run. This can be as straightforward as purchasing a cake for each associate's birthday.
Use this advice to organize a productive lab. Contact us today for advanced laboratory consulting solutions. We are here for you!