You manufacture and sell diagnostic equipment to labs and research facilities that use them on a daily basis to reliably process samples and tests. You’re doing your part to positively affect the greater good from a science standpoint, but at the same time you’re also part of a successful—and likely growing— business.
While we can’t even pretend to understand all the techy and science related bits that surround your goals, we can and do understand the business and process-driven end of things. It is because of this that we are often asked by product management of diagnostic equipment companies: ‘How can I improve the user experience associated with my equipment?’
Having supported global diagnostic equipment manufacturers for decades, we can tell you the answer (or at least part of the answer!), is simpler than you might think: Have a second look at your barcodes! Assuming your equipment functions as a result of automated scanning of the inner-tests or contents of which it was designed to process, the barcode itself is actually one of the keys to optimal system functionality. If you are asking your customers to manually apply barcodes to their labware you may have just identified two opportunities for improvement:
- Customer experience
- Equipment performance
In this article, we’ll discuss the three ways in which barcodes should complement your equipment to support optimal end-user functionality.
1. Successful automatic scanning will make or break efficiencies
Unless your equipment is from the stone-age, it more than likely relies on automatic barcode scanning to process tests. The entire thought process behind an automated piece of diagnostic equipment is to automate an otherwise manual process. Yep. That’s not rocket science.
But…if in order to achieve this highly automated testing or screening process, lab techs have to first sit around and manually apply barcode labels to labware, as an industry we’ve sort of missed the entire point, haven’t we? Ironic, right?
With the goals of efficiency and accuracy in mind, every element in this automated diagnostic process should be as controlled as possible. After all, that’s what science is all about, right?
Outsourcing the labelling of labware ensures not only that each associated sample or specimen will achieve the most accurate automated scanning in conjunction with your equipment, but additionally that end-user resources are leveraged in the most efficient ways possible. That’s a tangible solution value that you’re able to pass along to your customers.
Labs don’t have to perform unnecessary manual tasks like labelling, and you are assured that your equipment functions exactly as intended. Winning.
2. Happy customers = good business
Your technical support team knows the drill all too well: an end user lab has called and is frustrated beyond all belief as a result of their supposed automated equipment having come to a complete halt in the middle of a workflow for seemingly no apparent reason. These are not fun calls. Not for your team, and not for your customers. What’s more, is that without system validation, it can be really tough to pinpoint problems such as this over the phone or via remote support. (Hint: incorporating RFID into your current barcode label strategy can help with this!)
This exact scenario can and does occur more often than you would think, and can be directly blamed on a barcode label that was unable to be automatically scanned from within the system. Whether the label was wrongly placed on the container, wasn’t placed there at all, or became unattached during the process is a moot point now—as operations are halted as a result. Yet, the problem of system downtime remains, as does the need to re-process or scrap that particular sample or specimen.
But, what if instead of relying on your customers to barcode labware for insertion into the system, you instead provided it to them already barcoded? Crisis averted. Scanning would be seamless and system functionality optimal. Literally everyone wins.
3. Differentiation is part of your job
Let’s be honest: the diagnostic industry is growing at an incredibly rapid pace. So much so, that some startups are only in the startup phase for weeks before being acquired by larger organisations. The other truth is that most of your competitors haven’t explored the option of outsourced barcode labelling as part of their differentiation strategy yet either!
With options to brand labware (yep, colour can be done!), add graduation marks, and barcode almost any container in any environment, you’ve got loads of opportunity to differentiate not only the labware associated with your equipment, but the solution as a whole.
Consider the barcoded labware associated with your equipment as a competitive strategy for both marketing and profitability.
Gaining control over the functionality of your equipment while at the same time increasing profitability and reducing potential for error makes smart business sense. As the diagnostic industry continues to grow and expand, system performance and testing accuracy will only become more critical. Considering an outsourced approach to barcode labelling supports strategic goals for both you and your customers by removing inconsistencies and errors associated with automated system barcode scanning.
On a similar note, RFID is also worth exploring as you research ways in which to improve product performance as this technology can easily complement existing labware and labelling strategies to dramatically improve information flow and system operability. To learn more about how RFID is expanding into the diagnostic equipment space, check out our blog.
To learn more about Computype’s outsourcing program, check out this article, or download the brochure below.