Labs operate within a larger corporate framework and have to compete for resources along with other departments.
The "Manager's Survival Guide to Engineering Laboratory Automation" provides additional information.
Management has a significant role in laboratory automation - one that is often not considered in laboratory automation projects because, for the most part, lab automation is only considered as a technology issue. There are also those who don't think about the implications of automation practices because the equipment they are purchasing has the "automation" done inside the product so it isn't seen as a product issue.
While those viewpoints may have been appropriate ten or fifteen years ago when laboratory automation was in its early development, today's management has to view lab automation from the standpoint of intellectual property and technology management. Labs operate within a larger corporate framework and have to compete for resources along with other departments. That is likely to be more successful if proposed programs and expenditures can be seen as part of a plan, a long-term framework rather than a set of independent projects.
The extent of the effort in developing that framework depends on the nature of the organization. A single lab in a small company is going to require less work than a larger organization with multiple labs on one or more sites. The overall process is the same, but the level of commitment is greater in the latter case, but then so is the benefit in terms of reduced development costs and avoiding duplicate and potentially conflicting programs.
One purpose of our work is to educate and assist laboratory and corporate management in the development of that framework. For more information, please contact us.
Download "Laboratory Management's Role in Scientific Technology Management" for more information.