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Key Challenges and Pain Points in the Global Laboratory Market

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Faced with ever-increasing pressures on budgets, research strategy, workload and many other factors, the life of a researcher is arguably harder than ever before.

To better understand the key challenges and pain points in the global laboratory market, Agilent commissioned Frost & Sullivan to carry out an independent survey of 700 scientists across the laboratory employee spectrum. Here we highlight a selection of the survey’s key findings.

Top 3 laboratory goals

Laboratory managers ranked the following as their top goals:

Develop staff (52%)
Expand laboratory services (49%)
Improving working environment for staff (42%)

Top 5 challenges in their laboratory

Laboratory managers ranked the following as their top challenges:

Instrument maintenance/downtime (73%)
Complexity of testing requirements (63%)
Time consuming sample prep (60%)
Keeping up with changing regulation (52%)
Better management of data (50%) 

Main objectives over the next 18 months

Laboratory managers ranked the following as their main objectives over the next 18 months: 

Ensuring higher throughput/productivity (58%)
Improved system efficiency (55%)
Development of new services needed by the organization (47%)

45% of survey respondents said that there is pressure to increase the number of samples over and above their current processing figure.

Top 5 factors limiting productivity

Respondents cited the following factors:

Time consuming sample preparation (80%)
Instrument downtime due to scheduled maintenance (73%)
Unplanned downtime (67%)
Method transfer/validation of new instruments (64%)
Time for training laboratory technicians (40%)

Top 3 elements to improve or increase productivity

When asked to rank the top three elements to improve or increase productivity, respondents cited:

Increase reliability of results (59%)
Implement new technologies (57%)
Maximize use of instruments/reduce downtime (51%)
Get test results faster (43%)

3 main causes for unplanned downtime

When asked to select the 3 main causes for unplanned downtime, respondents cited:

Issues with sample preparation (78%)
Instrument breakdown (64%)
Operator/technician error (45%)

3 main measures to reduce unplanned downtime

When asked to select the main measures to reduce unplanned downtime, respondents cited:

Increase the use of automated systems (78%)
Better after sales service from manufacturers (73%)
Reduce instrument troubleshooting time (55%)

Key findings from the survey can be found here.