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Four ways to minimise disruption during the lab moving process

9 July 2018

When it comes to laying out a list of objectives to focus on during a lab move, minimising disruption always features highly. This is understandable on a number of levels – especially since funding and ongoing support and sustainability often depends on performance. Here we share four ways to ensure that disruption doesn’t get in the way of your long-term objectives during a lab relocation.

Plan ahead

Plan and prepare as much as possible for the move, taking into account every single aspect. Put together a project plan with key milestones that need to be achieved and allocate specific jobs to each individual. Don’t forget to include contingency time in case one stage runs over – this ensures you can stay on track no matter what happens, even when the unexpected occurs. Little issues could threaten to derail the entire process – so it’s worth making a separate list of things that could go wrong and how you’ll manage and mitigate problems as they arise.

Outsource to eliminate downtime

Where possible it may be sensible (and necessary) to outsource to a trusted partner during the move who can take on a portion of your day-to-day work. This takes the pressure off your lab and your team during relocation, but it also ensures that any disruption to the service itself and clients or end users is reduced or eliminated completely.

Be realistic with your expectations – and others

One mistake some lab managers make is failing to focus on what can go wrong – or making promises they can’t keep which become troublesome if things don’t go to plan. Be 100% realistic with your expectations on all levels – from the timing of the move and the delays it could bring to the outcome itself. Overpromising and underdelivering can affect staff morale, productivity, progress and customer satisfaction, so it’s very important to carefully consider the implications and communicate them properly whilst also making proper provisions for each aspect of the move.

Organise professional support throughout the process

Enlisting professional support is a sure-fire way to minimise disruption – since experts who are well-versed in the processes and know each aspect of a lab move inside out will be fully aware of what needs to be done and when. Consult them early on to ensure that they can help with the planning and preparation processes – as getting them in too late could cause further disruption and delays if they are required to redo or alter what’s already been done.


“We have very positive feedback from the end users regarding all the crews involved in the move. Indeed at a steering group meeting this week one of the senior scientist not only praised the move teams but also requested if the same teams could be used for the move into the CL2 building next year.”

The Pirbright Institute

“The Johnsons team worked well with our own internal project team to make the overall move a success. The main phase went without any significant issues, and this was a testament to the close management and supervision of the Johnsons team at both sites during the 3 days of the move.”

Mark Garrod, Redx Pharma

“We have a good working relationship and specifically use Johnsons as they are competitive, always turn up on time with the correct number of operatives, and their removal team is always courteous which matters especially when patients and our staff are affected.”

David Shepherd, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

“Johnsons Laboratory Logistics have been providing relocation services to us for a number of years now. They are competitive, reliable and trustworthy.”

Iain Ramsey, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

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