When you're considering upgrading a lab, your first priority is minimizing company downtime. It's not easy to work in a lab that's also being remodeled, and it's harder still to relocate your processes for even a short amount of time. So, how can you keep lead times short to ensure you get your new or remodeled laboratory on time, and in a time frame that suits you? Check out these tips:
Schedule on off months
June, July, and August are the busiest times of the year for most lab manufacturers. That's because it's the best time for bigger school and university laboratories to get in their renovations and new installations while all the students are off for the summer. If you can, work to schedule your project for an off-month, when manufacturers will have less pressing projects and can devote more time to ensuring your project is designed and installed on time.
Plan far ahead
The best way to get your lab in the time frame that you need it is to plan as far ahead as possible. As soon as you get the go-ahead on the budget for the project, it's a good idea to start planning. The more you know about what your new lab or lab renovation will need, the easier it will be to determine how long it will take to install. Additionally, the farther you plan ahead, the less worry there will be about something breaking before you have the chance to fix it. If your incubator's on its last leg, or your fume hood is missing its sash, start planning your upgrade now, rather than when it breaks. By planning ahead, you'll minimize your downtime, and you'll give yourself a better opportunity to shop around for the materials best for you.
Have clear objectives
The clearer your picture of the end goal, the better. If you can easily and succinctly communicate to your manufacturer just what it is you're looking for, then you're likely to get your project moving pretty quickly. While there are certainly projects out there that take a bit more time and allow for clients to slowly make up their minds on certain materials or appliances, if you're looking to have your laboratory delivered quickly, know exactly what you need. The more specific you are with square footage, size of cabinets, and number of appliances and workstations, the easier it will be for your manufacturer to come back with a design that suits your needs.
Be willing to work with predetermined options
If you need a new lab or a lab renovation like, right now, then consider working with labs that are already partially designed. For example, at Multi-Lab, we offer Labs-to-Go, which are essentially laboratory kits that can be delivered in practically no time at all for clients who need to get their operations set up ASAP. While those who purchase a Lab-to-Go won't get the same custom options as a client on a longer timeline, they do get the benefit of a high-quality, Michigan manufactured lab, right when they need it. If lead times are your priority, then know that you may have to pass up some of the custom options you want, to get the lab installed when you need it.
Know your budget
The first thing any lab manufacturer is going to ask about your project is, "what's your budget?" So it makes sense that it should be one of the first things you figure out. The sooner you know your budget, the sooner you can plan, and the sooner you can get that project going. Additionally, knowing your budget well will make it a lot easier to speed the process along. It'll be easy to tell what you can afford, and add it to the list, or what you can't afford, and can cross right off.
Work with someone who understands your industry
One of the absolute best ways to ensure that your lab gets done properly and on time is to work with someone who knows your industry. The more familiar your manufacturer is with your industry's needs and unique designs, the easier it will be for you to communicate your vision for the project. What's more, someone who's worked in your industry before will have the experience necessary to design exactly what you're looking for, the first time. There won't be much time wasted going back and forth with design considerations, and they'll be able to build the project in much less time as well. When speed is what counts, choose someone who knows exactly what you need.
Don't settle for long lead times
Finally, we think it's important to let all lab managers and professionals know that you shouldn't have to settle for long lead times. There are certainly a number of manufacturers out there who will predict 20 weeks to installation, and we know you don't have that much time. Know that if you do a bit of shopping around, you're likely to find someone who can offer you the same quality materials and design, for a more reasonable lead time—somewhere between 6-12 weeks isn't unreasonable. So, if you feel like you're being quoted for much more time than it should actually take, consider shopping around a bit more. You deserve the lab you need, in a time frame that makes sense.
If you've been shopping around for a lab manufacturer with short lead times, or if you're in need of a lab ASAP, check out the Multi-Lab Labs-To-Go. They're essentially lab kits that can be deployed to your location in practically no time at all, ensuring you suffer minimal downtime. And if you've got a bit more time on your hands, know that Multi-Lab is a top custom laboratory manufacturer with an in-house design team here to help find the perfect lab solution for your company. Give our office a call at 616-846-6990, or contact us online today to see how we can help!