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Things to consider when coordinating a clinical laboratory move

20 September 2017

Johnsons Laboratory Logistics has a skilled and dedicated laboratory project management team who can manage and deliver any size and type of laboratory project from inception to completion. Other than having vast experience with completing laboratory relocations we put all of our project managers through their PRINCE2 project management qualification to ensure that they have all the necessary tools to successfully manage a laboratory relocation project.

We also have specialist laboratory removal staff team members and vehicles to undertake all aspects of the physical relocation. In this blog we share several key things to consider when planning and delivering an upcoming laboratory move.

Plan with plenty of time to spare

Laboratory moves are more complex in comparison to traditional commercial relocations such as office moves. They require precision, expert knowledge and above all, militantly detailed planning. As laboratories are often in constant use with ongoing research any downtime must be minimised. This requires the correct industry knowledge to understand the project tasks and detailed organisation to ensure that any scientific research can be sustained and maintained. When putting together a relocation plan it’s important to ask a number of key questions, such as ‘Should the laboratory need to be relocated in phases to reduce science downtime and reduce any key risks’ and ‘What hazardous materials are held within the current laboratory set-up that need to be considered and then planned to be correctly and legally relocated?’ We provide a host of specialist services that come together to facilitate a timely and successful relocation.

Create a project plan based on the nature and needs of equipment

Should you want us to plan and project manage your laboratory relocation, the first task would be to establish a project brief. Once an initial project brief has been established, key objectives set and project milestones agreed a project plan can be developed and built on with the key stakeholders. Our dedicated project manager will complete an initial review and establish the individual requirements of all departments that are relocating. Once the requirements are documented and understood, the most appropriate plan to be defined and agreed. From this information, a relocation timeline can be completed to incorporate all activities such as specialist OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) decommissioning and recommissioning, construction and ordering of specialist packing materials, packing/unpacking and physical relocation time required.

Confirm whether third parties need to be involved

A lot of laboratory equipment has the potential to require OEMs to complete various decommissioning, recommissioning and recalibrating services. Due to the high number of laboratory projects that we complete we have very good working relationships with a number of the main OEMs that will be required to complete these services on the various equipment. Should you not want the hassle of having to manage and book in, what can be, a high number of OEMs, we can complete this process for you with our dedicated project manager undertaking and managing this task for you. We can contact all the required OEMs once we have established what level of service is required, build a critical path timeline and relocate all equipment around the OEMs schedules. This will ensure the best value for money is achieved as OEM repeat visits to site can be very costly.

Consider logistics before the move

There are numerous types of chemicals, samples and pathogens that might be in a laboratory that will need the correct planning and relocation process followed to ensure that it safe to relocate and complies with current ADR transport legislation. Within Johnsons we have an inhouse Dangerous Goods and Safety Advisor (DGSA) that will be part of the planning process. Our DGSA will advise and overview all legal aspects of relocating any laboratory project that we complete. Whether this is to make sure that all laboratory equipment is cleaned with the correct certification so that it is safe to move, all hazardous materials have been correctly assessed with the appropriate materials supplied for safe and legal transfer or project specific RAMS produced for our relocation team to follow, it is all tasks that are part of the service that we offer.

Stick to the schedule on the day

After the detailed planning is completed, the relocation days will run like clockwork – with every task completed in order and on time by our experienced and professional relocation teams. Our project manager will ensure that all the correct specialist removal equipment, materials and skill sets are on correctly planned and allocated to ensure the safe transport of high value equipment, cold chain materials and any hazardous materials. We have all the correctly trained and certified staff inhouse to carry out the physical relocation of chemical, sample and pathogen transport under ADR legislation whether or not you are moving to a new facility 5 minutes away in Europe or relocating from London to Belgium!

Once we have completed your relocation, we can help all your laboratory technicians unpack in their new laboratories, assist in the clearing down and closure of your old facility or even look in to being able to sell any redundant laboratory equipment that might have some second hand value in it!

Planning a laboratory move? Get in touch with our expert teamtoday to commence preparation now.


“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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