Hi I’m Taylor Moyer with Flagship Lab Services and we’re going to talk to you guys for a few minutes about lab operations and how to optimize getting investor money by running a well well-oiled machine.
Hi my name is Lisa Manning I’m VP of Business Development here at Flagship Facility Services Lab Services division and why don’t we start out first with you telling us and everyone else here a little bit about your background and experience with lab operations I think they’ll find it really relevant to why you became so passionate about this.
So unlike the speaker who preceded me I did not succeed at the bench I started at the bench and I realized very quickly that I was not cut out for that part of the lab but I loved what the labs were about I loved finding Therapeutics and technologies that would improve human life and I thought kind of the biotech space was a really good place to make my Mark and operationally I kind of found my stride realizing that in a small growing lab we were about 50 people and we’d hit that inflection point where there was too much going on not enough organization we were kind of bleeding spend and our scientists were spending too much time doing not science so I was given the freedom at that company to implement processes and programs that would allow them to focus on science and then I transitioned out into the sales world where I got to see Labs from Tiny startups through big Global Pharma and I saw a trend of little companies not having the resources or the knowledge or the infrastructure to run their operations well but having spent time at Eli Lilly Global Pharma I was like I know how this can be done and I know that we can make this something that’s very accessible to little labs to allow their really cool technology to succeed in the business aspect and come to fruition nothing all right great so what components are important to a company when they want to really make sure that their lab operations are really tightened up and top-notch so they come down to four very easy in attainable like quadrants one is your equipment what do you have how much do you have how much are you spending one is your consumables consumables are incredibly costly are you doing your management of that wisely chemicals they’re the dangerous stuff so make sure you’re managing it well you’re compliant and purchasing that’s the hardest one so I’ll touch on that one last so I’ll start with equipment and the first thing we hear whenever we walk in a lab is people like we don’t have resources we don’t have somebody to do this and the good news is you don’t need resources you need a process you need strategy and you actually just need to stop and think it through so equipment’s expensive right you need it operational every day you need to give you good high quality data you need to calibrated you need it maintained but mostly you need to know what do you have and is it working so you can find a spreadsheet you can find a database and just build a very solid infrastructure a list if you are of everything you have and why the list is important is not because you have a list but when it’s time to scale when an investor comes to you and says hey what is it going to take to double you can’t go let me get back to you right you need to know that information and you need to have it readily available how can you do that you aggregate it you pick a person you give them the tasks you build the list and then more importantly you build a process for when you’re going to buy something during a process for getting it into your list and then when something leaves or dies or has end of life how do you get it out of that process equally important and what investors are going to want to know is if they give you their money are you spending it wisely well you know that’s a subjective answer you don’t want it to be subjected you want to have a way to concretely be able to let them know yes I’m going to manage your money well and the way you do that from an equipment perspective is you have data right I find lab after lab scientists make all their scientific decisions on data but then they just buy whatever somebody says they need without an analysis we see it all the time so if you have this list you can track how much you’re spending on Breaking of you know break fix PMS calibrations are you overspending on service contracts you don’t need are you under spending because something’s going to die can you put something in your budget and can you tell your investors what the expectations are for next year for doubling for tripling right so it’s a very easy process it just requires structure and thought around it the next piece and I think probably the most pivotal is your consumables management right consumables are very expensive scientists are notoriously not strategic in their purchasing they’re just like uh oh I need it yesterday can we rush shipment nobody’s thinking about the soft cost of processing that PO how many people need to touch it to process it to order it to get it paid for and not aggregating their spend they’re not looking at should I be using my primary supplier my company pays for Biocom they pay for these discounts and then the scientist forgets to use them right so by again creating a strategy and a strategic approach it doesn’t take cost it takes attention right so generate that list what are you buying and how much should you be buying nine times out of ten if you’re a small to mid-sized lab you’re gonna go I buy what I need what is that right there’s data for that it’s very easy to generate that spreadsheets are powerful tools databases are powerful tools just make a list work with your reps you know if you don’t have Manpower almost every one of your reps can give you somebody that will give you a list of what you’re buying from them right create a process equally importantly is create a timeline the number of times I see orders placed in triplicate because scientists ACS were additive scientist BCS and scientific they all place the same order nobody knows now you’ve tripled your spend that could be given to Capital asset purchase more spend they can be saved for another scientific addition to your team you shouldn’t be blowing it on consumables unnecessarily all you need is a strategy and a plan chemicals I add because they’re kind of fun they blow up right you really need to make sure that you are following all the Regulatory Compliance for your area I think we’ve all walked into labs and seen a corner that has a stack of 4×4 later Yoli is laughing because he sees it all the time you walk in and they’re like well I don’t want to run out of reagents well ordering a hundred and storing them inappropriately is not the way to do that that will get you fined it will get you shut down it will create an unsafe environment so again a list like you’ll hear it’s a very repeatable um solution and it’s very cost efficient right dedicating somebody to creating a list of what you have then when research change needs we need to double our um our usage of these flammable reagents you know what double means you know what that spend is going to look like and you can figure out can you store that safely or can you not then you can backward that to a solution do you need your waist picked up more frequently do you need to work with your supplier to have weekly delivery so that you have an allowable permissible quantity on site but if you don’t have a list when the fire marshal comes not having an answer is unacceptable and it’s a very easy solution another piece I want to caution you know you guys about is do it early we get a lot of pushback that’s like we’re not that big it doesn’t matter yet let me tell you it’s a lot cheaper and a lot easier to do it when you’re 5, 10, 50 people and when you’re 300 people and you’re playing the ketchup game and now you have a thousand pieces of equipment thousands of chemicals and years and years worth of lost aid on your consumers so start early it makes it significantly easier and then you can Implement these solutions that will let you get that investor dollars spending well and grow I saved the most difficult for last and that’s purchasing it right purchasing sounds easy I think a lot of labs grossly underestimate what it takes to do good purchasing and I would guess every one of you has walked into a lab where everybody orders what they need whenever they want it right and that’s a fast recipe for wasted money right and again we’ve already touched on ordering too much of the same thing because you’re Panic buying we saw a lot of that during covet I walked into lab after lab that have rooms with pallets of alternative items that they no longer like but it’s thirty thousand dollars worth of off-brand tips that now they’re stuck with right there was nobody looking at the strategy and going hey there’s a supply chain disruption what are our scientific needs how do we evaluate those Alternatives before we’re in a bind and then we make a bad Panic line so the push on purchasing that we hear time and time again is we don’t have a bio you don’t need a buyer right at some point you will at some point you absolutely will need somebody in that role but while you’re in a smaller stage and you don’t have that resource process it’s kind of a broken record but build what do you order who do you order it from and who should order it right it probably shouldn’t be six different Ras all in charge of walking by and ordering when they see something’s low right you should assign it to a person or a group of people with a routine schedule science gets interrupted when science scientists panic because they don’t have what they need so if you build a process and a timeline and a flow that they can trust and understand when it will be delivered somebody’s got their backs somebody knows what the key materials are you can alleviate that burden from them you can also prevent them from stopping and taking valuable time away from research to go figure out how to buy something putting a process and giving people an assigned way of doing things again it doesn’t require money it requires somebody in your lab with the Strategic approach and taking the time to build a spreadsheet a database and just a process that they then communicate with all the scientists because they don’t know they’re going to keep row buying Rogue servicing equipment or my favorite is uh every sitting single for the past 15 years every single sub 100 employee company we’ve opted into we’ve been able to save them 50 on their equipment service contracts the reason is sign Ed scientists want to be able to walk in every day have a science ready lab and have their stuff their equipment working but when you walk in and you go okay I’m gonna put everything under the Platinum level coverage why what data is making that decision we’ll tell you it’s a fear-based choice it’s scientists going I want this operating every day well if you can stop and take a look at how many times did you call for a service on this does it need a contract does it not again you’ve got a process you’re doing analysis and you’re making data-driven choices.
Long answer yeah so wow those those four components do seem really important to have in your lab run smoothly so what is the easiest way for companies to get started to kind of tighten it up what’s the easiest easiest thing for them to do sign a point.
First most companies have somebody that’s type A somebody that’s organized whether it’s an admin whether it’s a kind of a very tech savvy research associate or whether you hire a consultant and say hey I need you to build this process it’s really making a change I think in the thought patterns what we see is so 50 sub 75 companies tend to be very reactive we’re just we’re staying afloat and we’re trying to survive and get data until the next round of funding getting somebody willing to step back and stop and come up with a process again build that spreadsheet gather the data and then give somebody a point person for each of those four components of allowance it may be the same point person it may be for different point people it depends on who you’ve got you know in-house and then start to look at the trends and really hold yourself to making decisions based on the data just like you would with your science experiments aggregate the data don’t set it and forget it look at it process it and then make your choices moving forward and again when you go for that next round of funding and the investor dollars you’re gonna have all your scientific data in a row.
You’re going to spend this money wisely what is my ROI on choosing you versus another company at the same stage and that is your your commitment to operating effectively and using that money efficiently so that you can put the most amount of money towards research dollars and not towards your operational budget.
I think we have plenty of time for some Q and A.