ZAGENO recently hosted a webinar with expert scientists who shared more about their experiences working in biotech research labs through COVID-19, the impact of supply shortages on their experiments, and tips for how to get experiments back on track even with the challenges of the pandemic.
Through this webinar, titled Don't Let Lab Supply Shortages Delay You: 5 Strategies to Get Your Experiment Back on Track, our panelists unsurfaced several key opportunities for research labs, biotechs, and biopharma companies to leverage technology to not only overcome the obstacles COVID-19 has presented but also capitalize on new opportunities emerging through the pandemic and beyond.
Private Marketplaces and Longtail Suppliers
Our scientist panelists shared how having access to a private marketplace was a game changer for them in keeping their experiments on track. When relying on a single vendor, you are at the mercy of that vendor’s delays, internal disruptions, and other idiosyncratic factors. When using a marketplace, you significantly diversify and desrik your supply ordering capabilities through sourcing from and being able to tap into thousands of different large and long tail suppliers alike in one place. Even if any individual supplier falls through, has out-of stock products, or has backordered products, you are seamlessly able to search from the catalogs of countless other suppliers in finding alternative products.
Approval Flows and Division of Labor
The pandemic ushered in a new age of remote work. Our scientist panelists fondly recall the relative ease of collaboration when everyone was in the lab prior to COVID-19. In a remote work era, communication and collaboration has become exponentially more challenging. Scientists have found it much more difficult to connect and work with lab managers on ordering their supplies, which has led to avoidable experiment delays.
Our scientist panelists underscored the importance of leveraging technology to establish a proper division of work between lab managers and scientists. Scientists should be empowered to search for and request their own products for experiments. Scientists, after all, know their experiment needs and timeline best. With something as critical as their experiments, scientists would much prefer being able to have more control. Similarly, lab managers who are already so overworked managing the lab in the unprecedented chaos of COVID, would like to empower scientists to do their own ordering.
Through a marketplace with approval flows and controls, scientists can seamlessly work with their lab managers on ordering. Scientists can take back control of their product research and selection processes and better ensure their product comes on time.
Order Tracking and Visibility
Our scientist panelists shared that not knowing the status of supply orders is often even more frustrating and damaging than supply delays. At least with known supply delays, you are able to plan around and ahead to find alternatives. When you have no idea what the status of an order is, you cannot even create a contingency plan.
As a result, it is crucial to work with systems that show real time order status and provide a detailed level of visibility. With the numerous delays COVID induced supply chain challenges have brought, it is critical to have a clear understanding of where you supply orders stand at all times so you can properly plan and get your experiments on track.
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COVID has shown us the power and potential of life sciences innovation but it has also brought to light shortcomings in our life sciences technology infrastructure. The pandemic with all its hardships has shined a light on where there is still room for innovation. We at ZAGENO are excited to be a part of creating the solution empowering scientists to accelerate innovation.