Published by Peter Boler on August 18, 2020

3 responses to “Strategies to reduce laboratory costs while improving efficiency and productivity in the Era of COVID-19 – Part 1”


    I am a bit worried about “productivity” or ” cost reduction ” emphasys at labs.
    The main mission of labs is to give precise results for
    clients to take decisions about actions to be taken.

    Laboratories are part of an organization, not an isolated area.

    Some times, to increase precision in results , some investments must be done, instead to reduce costs, in order to have global economy.

  2. Peter Boler says:

    Hi Raul,

    Thank you so much for your comments. You raise an interesting point about an over emphasis on productivity and cost reduction. I am certainly not arguing for cost reduction for the sake of cost reduction. Rather, I would argue that productivity, costs, and data accuracy are all related to each other.

    More specifically, if you consider gasoline and the various methods highlighted in the blog FIA (ASTM D1319) is largely a manual method that is both time consuming and subject to human interpretation of results — which introduces the possibility of error. Also, it only provides results for aromatics and olefins – the latter of which is required for the EPA. For ethanol and methanol, you need to run the same sample by GC-OFID (ASTM D5599). GC_OFID is expensive to maintain due to the platinum reactors. Benzene is typically measured using GC-TCD (ASTM D3606). This is not a very complex approach but does require another analytical setup. Finally, aromatics is performed by GC-MS (ASTM D5769), which is more complex and maintenance intensive. These are four different analytical techniques which provide accurate results, but you still need to run all four which has an impact on cost and productivity.

    My point is, that in times like this, most organizations are stopping or delaying investments which is understandable given the current economic climate due to COVID-19. However, sometimes it is better to invest, in times like these, in newer technologies and methods that provide (as you point out) accurate results while simultaneously reducing the number of analytical techniques used in the laboratory. This also reduces consumable and maintenance costs over the long term.

    Additionally, by reducing the number of analytical techniques with a single technology and method that provides a more comprehensive set of results, you are simplifying laboratory workflow which has a direct impact on productivity, freeing up chemists to work on other more important tasks.


  3. Hi,

    I found information on the website quite interesting for a Scientist involved in a pharmaceutical/ Biotechnology industry. The detector is used for the detection of Nitrosodimethyl amine impurities and related compound with a specification of 26.5 to 96 ng/day.
    I would like to suggest validate an analytical method and submit to FDA.
    FDA may be published as an alternate method. You can also provide to your customer and they can validate and use it.
    It will helps to sell this detector to industry as now a days more than 15 API are susceptible for these impurities.

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