Ways to Get the Most out of Your Lab Budget

Written by  //  2020/04/16  //  Academics  //  Comments Off on Ways to Get the Most out of Your Lab Budget

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As an academic professional, you know that money is never easy to come by. Typically, you will have a several-step process to go through before you can get a budget approved, let alone make a significant purchase. So, naturally, you try to get the most out of every penny in your budget. However, that’s easier said than done when you’re spending money on expensive lab equipment. We’re here to help. Continue reading for some ways to get the most out of your lab budget.

Monitor your budget regularly

This should go without saying, but you should be looking at your budget on a regular basis—don’t be obsessive about it, though, because that’s not healthy, either. However, the chances are good that we’ve all made the mistake of ordering something before looking at our budget. Keep in mind that a budget is an ever-changing tool. Your budget should clearly show your funds coming in and going out, and you should know exactly where those funds went and why. You can’t improve your budget if you don’t know where the money is going.

Look for ways to improve efficiency

As you continue to monitor your budget and spending, you might begin to see how inefficiencies may be hurting your budget. At the very least, you’ll find ways to save money by improving your processes. You’ve probably heard the saying, “time is money,” and the saying is true. For example, if you haven’t arranged your lab in a logical way, your process could be at risk for inefficiencies, and if you waste the time of the researchers, you’ll ultimately waste money. Researchers and lab technicians should be able to move about the lab in an easy, systematic manner.

Order supplies in bulk

Many academic labs go through consumable supplies on a regular basis. Some of these supplies include pipettes, cotton swabs, disposable gloves, sample bags, and more. Researchers need these consumable items to do their job effectively, and since these items are non-negotiable, the best way to save money on them is by ordering in bulk. For instance, ordering a package with several boxes of gloves is much more cost-effective over time than buying boxes individually. Don’t believe us? Compare your options on a spreadsheet.

Purchase used equipment

Labs often require complex pieces of equipment like chromatographs, mass spectrometers, microscopes, mixers, rockers, and more to help them with their findings. While all this equipment is necessary, the cost of it also adds up quickly. One of the best ways to get the most out of your lab budget is by purchasing used and refurbished lab equipment from a trustworthy supplier. In fact, most refurbished lab equipment comes in like-new condition as if the piece came straight from the manufacturer.

Whether you are brand new to your position or have been the decision-maker at your school for decades, there is no question that you will have a budget to manage. Lab budgets can be difficult to manage since much of the equipment is rather costly, but we hope these tips gave you some insight for stretching your budget in an academic lab.

image credit: Academic Laboratory by Pixabay

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