For many microbiology quality control labs, the budgeting process begins soon and the lab and other departments will begin the process of building their cases for new technology, manpower and other needs. Many quality control labs see the value of rapid micro methods (RMM) and must have a compelling case to include the new technologies in their final budget.
Building the case means clearly understanding and articulating the areas of potential benefit to your lab through the use of RMM. Following are four things to keep in mind as you craft your business case for an RMM in your budget.
1. Your Reason for Proposing RMM – Areas of Value
First, you’ll want to consider why you see an opportunity to invest in a rapid method for your lab. What are the areas of potential value specific to your lab – reducing costs, automating workflows, reducing testing time for example – that will be part of the business case? Each lab is different, so the value they garner from a rapid method will be different as well.
2. Planned Testing Applications
Determining which microbiology QC applications will be included as part of the business case is important as each application may have a different area of value. For example, for environmental monitoring testing, the value may come from the saved resources as a result of automated incubation and enumeration as well as integration to LIMS. For sterility testing, the value may come from time savings by reducing the time to result of the test. Some labs may build their case for RMM using a specific application, while others who look to perform all of their key microbial testing on a single machine may combine different areas of value.
3. Testing Volumes
Often, a return on investment can be required for a new capital purchase. In that instance, the areas of value need to be identified in terms of some level of savings. Many aspects of defining that savings require the number of tests performed per day currently. Since labs do an excellent job tracking and reporting on samples, determining the number of samples per day or week should be a simple calculation. Once you have a handle on how many samples you test each day and week, you can start to quantify time or resource reductions based on the number of samples tested. In addition, if there is an expectation that the business will be expanding or adding new production lines, the business case can include the increase in testing volume.
4. Costs and Savings
Along with the value or any ROI the budget must include the cost of the technology. RMM vendors can be a valuable resource during the budgeting process, as they have experience helping other companies build their ROI and business cases.
There are many resources online to help with your business case. Two resources on our website that can help include, “Quantifying the economic benefits of the Growth DirectTMSystem” and “Building the Business Case for Automated Rapid Testing”.