Millions are spent every year on the laboratory equipment and instrumentation that is essential for the daily work of research and analysis in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical sectors. However, EquipNet’s experience suggests that a significant amount of ‘lab assets’ are laying idle. Why? Projects are completed, priorities change, and the focus of research shifts. That instrument you once thought indispensable suddenly seems surplus to requirements and is tying up valuable capital… So what can you do about it?
Routes to Success
The route to a successful asset management system changes depending on a company’s final aim. Some wish to dispose of their asset base as quickly as possible, while others place more importance on achieving the best possible return on their initial investment. In many cases, it is somewhere in the middle.
The first step is to allow visibility of idle and surplus assets across multiple sites. Companies can see whether a certain piece of equipment would be of more value in another location, a strategy that always delivers the highest value. EquipNet achieves this by using a central tracking system (ARMS – Asset Redeployment Management System). This is a web-based platform that can be installed behind an organization’s firewall and allows users across a business to post, track, identify and complete the paperwork necessary to internally redeploy equipment.
If redeployment is not an option, then a laboratory will typically look to sell-off the surplus equipment. The ‘mechanics’ of a sale may have become more straightforward with the rise of the internet, which allows instrumentation to be sold to purchasers worldwide. However, considering the complex and highly specified equipment often found in laboratories, having an expert can still be a real benefit. A brokered sale relies on the skill and expertise of the sales partner, where product knowledge and industry connections add significant value to the process.
When time is limited, an auction is a dependable tool for moving equipment. Designing and managing such an event can be complex, relying on several factors. It helps to have the right approach in this process, whether it be a live auction, a webcast event, sealed bid or private treaty sale. Irrespective of the format of the auction type, innovation and expertise should be applied by your partner in the process. EquipNet’s proprietary system – SmartAuctions – gives buyers multiple chances to win and sellers more flexibility in approving bids.
In any business, there are occasions where clearance is the best route to realize value from some equipment. This can be done through a program of donations, scrap and environmental recycling.
A More Modern Approach
For many years, companies have bought and sold instrumentation and machinery using generalist auction houses and equipment dealers. Today, as more and more businesses look to proactively manage surplus or idle equipment, specialists like EquipNet – with added-value services that help clients get the maximum return on investment – have focused their expertise on the process.
Proactive asset management is a collective term that encompasses
A central tracking system that allows users across a business to keep track of idle and surplus equipment Successful redeployment of equipment to another part of the same organisation The sale of items that are no longer required Disposal or scrap of equipment that is at the end of its useful life Pursuing a proactive asset management strategy is not without its challenges. It requires a formalized process, specialist knowledge of the industry and the marketplace, dedicated resources and a concerted approach. Many companies lack the time and resources to establish and run a program like this successfully.
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