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By Devon Maresco
Biotech facilities are extremely complex operations, housing everything from proprietary data and research to sales teams and executives. Such a complex environment demands oversight that’s both rigid and flexible—rigid in the sense of cost control, yet flexible in its ability to adapt to new challenges and operational demands. To do this takes a keen sense of biotech facilities management.
Facilities management encompasses the entirety of physical operations from space planning to coordination and utilization of diverse workspaces. It’s an arduous undertaking—not only because of the diversity and complexity of facilities, but because of the stringent budgeting that accompanies biotech operations. Facility managers need to balance operational demands with cost control, to slow the cash burn of biotechs and increase the ROI of the facilities they occupy.
In the biotech space, facilities management involves careful foresight to operational needs of the company and the costs that accompany it. If successful, operational demands for facilities will scale up. If the company encounters resistance and needs to be conservative, cost becomes the priority. Facilities management makes managing this balance simpler.
What is biotech facilities management?
A biotech has several key objectives, all taking place within the same facilities. It’s researching, developing, and innovating on a product. Then, it’s focused on marketing and selling that product. Meanwhile, executives and consultants need to secure funding from investors. And, of course, administrators need to ensure everyone’s working diligently and getting paid. All these actions and objectives need unique support from the same facilities, which is why facilities management is crucial.
Biotech facilities management involves creating facilities that support the varied operations of the company—and to do so in a cost-efficient way. It’s a constant equilibrium battle as the company grows. This quarter, cash is tight. Next quarter, the company might expand. The quarter after might see an acquisition that doubles the size (and demand) of the organization. Biotech facility management is all about ensuring the workplace responds to these changes and continues to support everyone affected by them.
Benefits of facilities management for the biotech industry
In any industry, good facilities management equates to everything from cost-efficiency in real estate to fluidity of operations. In biotech, it’s no different; however, it is more important. Biotechs need to stretch investor funds further and drive higher levels of efficiency from everyday operations. The benefits of facilities management for biotechs culminate in a variety of opportunities to stretch cash burn and improve prospects:
- Safe and secure facilities that promote accessibility, yet safeguard access
- Streamlined lab operations through better space efficiency and utilization
- More affordable facilities and better budgeting for upkeep and maintenance
- Better transparency when it comes to company operations and activities
- Easier management, upkeep, and improvement for space across facilities
- Better adaptability and more flexibility to accommodate changing demands
Facilities management doesn’t just help biotechs achieve efficiency; it also helps them stay agile under changing circumstances. Biotech companies need to adapt to change without disrupting delicate operations. A strategic approach to facilities management is an effective way to help the company grow, while reducing disruptions and sustaining facility ROI.
How does biotech facility management software help?
Facility management software is critical in managing biotech operations, and ensuring the various objectives of the company get their due support. It provides administrators and facility managers with a central series of controls and resources to understand facilities, adapt them, and capitalize on opportunities to improve them.
For example, facility management software is instrumental in coordinating acquisitions and mergers—both very common in biotech. Integrating two companies or acquiring talent and assets means upheaval in space allocation and utilization. Facility management software provides the context needed to put people and assets in the right place, and to give them the space and amenities they need to continue working toward success.
Everyday biotech operations benefit from strategic facilities management. Software provides the actionable data, resources, tools, and broad capabilities to help biotechs make the most of facilities at any point in the ebb and flow of the company’s life.
Facilities management enables biotech scalability
The ability of a biotech to remain both lean and agile sets the tone for its success as operational challenges change. Well-managed facilities can allow the company to scale as innovation ramps up. Likewise, cost-efficient facility oversight puts the company in a position to pivot to a conservative cost structure in the event of funding disruptions. In either case, it starts with the ability to control facilities: the single biggest (and often most important) expense of biotechs.
The key to good facilities management is a clear understanding of the relationship between facilities and operations. To see this takes biotech facility management software—which is also an essential resource in making changes that contribute to scalability. Orchestration and oversight of facilities needs to be central to every biotech—especially those that want to remain on the cutting edge of their area of focus.
Keep reading: Why is Facility Management Important for Productivity?