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Three simple tips for planning a laboratory relocation

Three simple tips for planning a laboratory relocation

If your upcoming laboratory relocation is causing you sleepless nights our helpful series guide will help you outline and structure the process, giving you a clear beginning, middle and end so that there’s no details overlooked, no guesswork and most importantly no errors.

Moving your lab will involve uprooting ongoing research facilities, cold room specimens, data, live animals, hazardous chemicals and clean rooms, all of which will require planning and most importantly expertise. A standard relocation company will not be able to rise to the challenge - you will need someone who specialises in the Life Sciences and in laboratory logistics.

Know where to start 

Organising a lab move can often take months so you should start planning as soon as you know you’re moving, even though you might not have all the details hashed out yet. Your laboratory relocation experts should be called in as early as possible to survey and audit the site and decide what needs to be done and in what order. They will plan for eventualities that might not have occurred to you, like how to move cryogenic freezers that need to remain powered up, how to liaise with OEMs and how to package and store hazardous chemicals. A laboratory relocation can be months in the planning before anything even gets packed. 

One of the biggest concerns for laboratory managers is the methods and time it will take to move live research; the slightest error or oversight can mean the destruction of years’ of hard work and scientific application, and it should be a relocation provider’s main priority when conducting a move. The right logistics partner will be willing to spend time with you and discuss the operation of the lab in order to fully understand the nature of your research and compile a thorough relocation plan. 
Surveying and reviewing the new site should also be done early on, if this information is available at the time of planning. You might not have considered the locations of power outlets or plumbing facilities but a logistics specialist will and they’ll be able to advise while they project manage your move.

Consider your space 

Are you moving to a smaller lab due to renovations or budget cuts? This might mean having to part with some of your equipment temporarily or permanently. You relocation partner should be able to advise on how to lay out your space and also provide suitable storage designed for sensitive laboratory instruments. If necessary they should also be able to provide you with space where you can assess damaged and out-of-order machinery, and even source parts. They will be able to liaise with OEMs for dismantling, transportation, cleaning and repair. In fact, it might look like a simple relocation to begin with, but there are several factors you may not have considered which a logistics expert will have the knowledge to identify, plan for and respond to at short notice. 

Communicate with your teams

You might think that a lab move is only relevant to the more senior members of your team but you’d be surprised what can surface if everyone is informed and kept in the loop throughout. For example, you might not be aware of a large delivery of consumables being planned for the day of the survey, or there might be a storage room full of items that you weren’t aware of. Keeping everyone informed not only keeps them interested in the wellbeing of the project, but might end up saving you time and money in terms of factors you might not have considered from someone else’s perspective. 

Let us know if you have any question on any of the above and feel to contact us at any point for your free consultation.

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