Why laboratory building operations are best left to the pros

Laboratory operations have to meet a variety of exacting requirements, from user-friendly room designs that maximize process efficiency to state-of-the-art equipment to all the standards, guidelines, laws and regulations that apply to regular laboratory operations.

Not to mention the new challenges thrown up by trends such as digitalization for buildings, workflows, communications and data protection.

And yet every laboratory has to serve a unique purpose and is integrated in its own specific chain of processes.

If you want to protect your laboratory’s long-run efficiency and availability, you have to step back and look at all the subprocesses as an integrated whole.

Questions laboratory operators keep asking themselves:

  • Does it make sense to operate my laboratory with a completely in-house crew?
  • I have to deal with too many “sideshows” in my day-to-day work life. How can I free up more time and energy for my core business?
  • How are responsibilities currently allocated? Which tasks can I delegate, and which ones do I have to do myself?
  • What should a partner for laboratory building operations offer in order to genuinely reduce my workload?
  • How much does it cost to outsource laboratory building operations to an outside provider?

External laboratory operator? Why it is definitely win-win for you!

Laboratory building operations has become such a complex field that it always pays to bring in an outside service provider who knows the ins and outs like the back of its hand. The work cannot simply be done “on the side” by employees, either, and so ends up costing a lot of time and money when done in-house.

You and your partner should focus on the following goals, regardless of whether you want full-service support or prefer to entrust only some activities to outside experts:

  • Free up more resources for your core business.
  • Reduce the workload of highly skilled employees so that they can focus on their areas of expertise.
  • Achieve full compliance and reduce your liability with regard to complex regulations.
  • Always be fully prepared for audits.

„Researchers should be researching and not spending their time on things that they lack the knowledge and experience to handle. That is a critical key to success, especially during a skilled labor shortage.“

What are the biggest facility management pitfalls for laboratory operators to avoid?

Laboratory building operations can only be efficiently and cost-effectively managed by specialized staff who have years of experience in the field and the ability to properly evaluate and conform to relevant laws and regulations.

Well-organized laboratory building operations should cover issues such as:

  • Long-term, forward-looking planning
  • Construction permits
  • Professional floor and wall design
  • Ventilation system configuration
  • Pipe and duct sizing
  • Compliance with and interpretation of laws, standards and regulations
  • Process safety
  • Plant and equipment availability
  • Maintenance systems, schedules and strategies
  • Continuous standards monitoring
  • Systematic documentation
  • Fire, product and personal protection
  • Compliance with safety regulations
  • Materials storage and disposal
  • Laboratory cleaning

Instead of tying up your own staff with these activities, it is better to entrust them to a team of proven experts. That not only saves time and energy but ends up being less costly.

“Infraserv does not stop at procuring facilities and equipment. Our mission is to deliver efficient, cost-effective operations. We continue to support our customers even after the laboratory is completed!”

Staying on the ball: Infraserv will take on your operator responsibilities

If you want to prevent key aspects from being overlooked or neglected during laboratory building operations or day-to-day activities, it helps to work with a reliable partner who assumes some operator duties and responsibilities and regularly verifies that the laboratory fully complies with all legal requirements relating to:

  • Fire protection
  • Radiation protection
  • Noise control
  • Machine and equipment stability
  • Performance of occupational health examinations
  • Safety of traffic ways and evacuation routes
  • Personal protection from hazards posed by work equipment, hazardous substances and electric shock
  • Emission control, soil protection, water pollution control
  • Air pollution control and ventilation systems
  • Disposal of refuse and wastewater
  • Dangerous goods handling
  • International carriage of dangerous goods by road (ADR)
  • Climate protection regulations
  • Protection from crime and forces of nature

All measures taken should be transparently documented for you.

Minimize risk by involving laboratory staff

Taking a broad range of preventive measures will raise awareness among laboratory employees and thus help nip hazards, accidents and equipment downtime in the bud.

That is why Infraserv deliberately consults with involved staff to ensure smooth laboratory operations. This is done by:

  • Developing and maintaining safe work practice documents
  • Documenting legal requirements
  • Developing testing standards for laboratory and work equipment
  • Conducting health and safety, fire protection and radiation protection drills
  • Carrying out drills on hazardous substance handling
  • Conducting drills on proper disposal of refuse and wastewater
  • Performing occupational health examinations
  • Carrying out emergency drills

Guaranteed availability with custom maintenance strategies

As modern laboratories have grown more complex, it has become vital to regularly service and maintain relevant building equipment components in order to prevent costly breakdowns from happening in the first place.

Lean processes and digitalization

The larger the organization, the more drawn-out its decision-making processes tend to be. Outsourcing laboratory building operations and hiring an outside service provider can visibly accelerate processes.

Key aspects include:

  • Preventive maintenance of equipment before it can break down.
  • Standardization of equipment and processes.
  • Intelligent solutions that get laboratories ready for the digital age.

Preparation for audits and certifications

We can supply a dedicated team of auditors for internal and external GMP and DIN EN ISO 50001 audits. Certification criteria factor into our planning early on, in the operations planning stage. To support certification, we provide you with an extensive catalog of proposed measures for analyzing equipment and consumption and for conserving energy.

Conclusion: one-stop shop for laboratory building operations – cut costs and free up your workforce for your core business

Before you hire an outside company to operate your laboratory building, you will no doubt want to find out about the costs and benefits of doing so. Is it worth outsourcing these activities to third parties?

Here is a clear answer: It is almost always better to bring in specialists to cover all relevant aspects of laboratory building operations. The benefits are undeniable:

  • It frees up your workforce from doing things that are extraneous to your core business and require a high investment of time and energy.
  • Employing specialized experts reduces the risk of overlooking important factors or making mistakes that may end up being very costly.

Infraserv has over 20 years of experience with all aspects of laboratory building operations in a wide variety of industries. We always see laboratories through a customer’s eyes. That is why we develop cost-effective, customized solutions that support your organization’s mission.

As a customer, you have the freedom to pick the areas in which you want Infraserv Höchst’s assistance.

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