We speak with many customers about their lab-monitoring strategies and goals. Every day. And it’s becoming very clear that the concept of the Smart Lab is taking hold. There are, however, two distinct camps.
The first is people who simply want to know when something is amiss in their facility or with their equipment. They want immediate notification and alerting to ensure that they don’t lose precious samples or materials. That’s it. Nothing fancy! We get it. Avoiding disaster is absolutely critical, and in this day and age, there’s absolutely no excuse for not having cloud-based alerting technology in place.
The second camp sees comprehensive monitoring and data gathering as a stepping stone to the Smart Lab, and it’s a much different mindset. Rather than treating alerting as the end goal, monitoring is just a building block for the Smart Lab. Wide-ranging data gathering enables these teams to know when something is amiss, and they also have access to longer-range data sets which they can analyze for signs of impending issues, and to understand the organization’s equipment usage patterns, as well. Harnessing this data to enhance decision making around process improvements and resource allocation are becoming keys to success.
If you’re in the second camp, you’ll want to think about other issues, as well, including integrating data with other systems, remote access, and more. See Checklist: Smart Lab Solutions for a few suggestions to get the thought process rolling.
So, the choice to make is whether simple alerting is your end goal, or whether comprehensive monitoring and data gathering is a stepping stone to the Smart Lab for your team? The path you embark on happens at the beginning of the technology-evaluation process. On the surface it may seem like an easy decision to implement a simple monitoring systems but it’s really a much bigger decision. Which camp are you in?