The Strategic Plan for a Genetic Lab Company
Or any company for that matter Any company will need capital to start, and so, every company has investors. Those investors need to get paid back and rewarded for their risk. That means that the goal of every company is to 'increase throughput now and in the future.' Simple, right? Just make more money. Well, it may seem that simple at first glance. To make more money now and in the future, you need to make something to sell, and you need to sell it to someone. What a lab makes is information to answer peoples' questions about themselves, and we'll see in a bit how important those people are. Let's start though with how the lab produces the information. A lab is a highly technical undertaking. A genetics lab is even more so. The equipment, the techniques, and the bioinformatics needed to decipher the data they produce all require highly trained and attentive staff. And that's just to get any throughput at all. To get increasing throughput, your staff need to believe in the mission of the company. They have to be dedicated and innovative. Only then will they bring forward improvements to increase throughput. Any company that wants increasing throughput now and in the future will have to have stable dedicated staff. That requires minimizing staff turnover. Therefore you have to not just make more money, but you have to make your company an engaging and supportive place to work. Otherwise, you'll experience high turnover and spend more time getting less throughput. Let's say you've done that and you have great people doing great things. Now we'll look at who is going to buy your product. Those great people you employ will massage and tickle those expensive machines you bought so that they produce data. In a NGS genetics lab, it will be an impressive amount of data. But that's all it is, data. Your customers may, indeed, be impressed with reams of data. They may have some abstract sense of how wonderful it is that anyone can do what you do. Produce data, and you'll have their applause. Applause though, is not throughput. People only buy what helps them, which means you're going to have to solve a problem. The problem your potential customers have is that they have questions about themselves for which they have no answer. So in addition to producing reams of data, if you want people to buy your products in increasing amounts, you're going to have to satisfy their needs. You'll have to turn the data into the information that answers THEIR questions, not the questions YOU want to answer. Every company wants to increase throughput now and in the future, but to do that reliably, every company has to create an engaging and supportive environment for its staff and dedicate itself to satisfying the market. One goal becomes three. We all know it's a lot easier to throw one ball up and catch it than it is to juggle three. There will be a tendency when money is tight or time is tight, to to put a priority on throughput at the expense of either the employees' environment or the market's satisfaction. It will seem expedient. It will seem rational. But it will be wrong. It is wrong because to short one of those two in order to get a short term increase in throughput is only borrowing that throughput from the future. If our goal is to make money and run this would perhaps be sufficient, but the goal is to increase throughput now and in the future. That means that each bit of throughput must be based on unshifting foundations so that additional throughput can be built on top of it. Sacrificing the employee's experience or the market's satisfaction is like trying to build on shifting sand. You may make progress, but it will eventually fall. Any successful and sustainable genetics lab will have this three pronged strategy. Those that ignore the market's demands and their employees' needs will create a great flash and vanish quickly. Those that forget the reason for meeting the market's and employees' needs is increasing throughput will die on the vine. Using the TOC Thinking Processes, any company can use this strategic structure to create the production environment needed to meet their goal. If you need help with that, GenEd is here for just that reason. We'd like to see more successful small labs reaching their goal of increasing throughput, now and in the future.