Despite how society relies on the discoveries of technicians and scientists around the globe, labs often find themselves woefully underfunded. As a lab manager, you know that every penny counts and that all eyes are on you when it comes to meeting your numbers. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your laboratory budget and keep making progress in your field.
Shop With an Open Mind and Careful Eye
No matter how analytical a mind you possess, businesses will still do everything in their power to convince you to buy the fanciest tool available for your lab. Gadgets and additional programs are attractive incentives to spend more, but high-cost luxury equipment doesn’t always pair well with a tight budget.
Keep an open mind when it comes to less over-the-top and even used tools. Know what you’re looking for before going in, such as a warranty, repair history, and cleanliness. An investment in high-quality lab equipment benefits your work in many ways, but extravagant prices don’t always mean that piece of equipment is suitable for your lab. Consider all your options before you buy.
Keep Everyone Organized
Budgets get stretched thinner by avoidable human error. We lose things, hide them from ourselves, and break what we don’t know how to use correctly. Proper organization is a preventative tool that protects both your team and your wallet. Effective labeling, clear procedures, and even color-coding of the process all guide your technicians through their day and limit the issues that nickel and dime your lab into the red.
Don’t Shy Away From Bulk Purchases
If you know you’re going to use it, look for supplies in bulk. Manufacturers and retailers typically offer decent discounts for large purchases and can shave off a decent portion of your overall spending even though the initial cost seems higher. Pipet tips, reagent bottles, and corning caps are just a few of the supplies your lab could find cheaper in large quantities.
With these tips, you can make the most of a laboratory budget. Without costs weighing on your shoulders, you can continue to further the careers of teammates, make an impact as a woman in science, and give the public tools and knowledge for healthier, safer, and more informed living.