All your eggs in one basket?
I would say 80% of the time I fall into this category. However, I’m going to give you an example from my personal life where I shouldn’t have put all my eggs in one basket, and this should serve as a cautionary tale as to why you diversify your analytical laboratory setup.
I run a lot, and I run in the same brand and model of running shoe. That’s usually not a problem, as every year they come out with the next version of the shoe, and I continue on as normal and have done so for the past eight years. However, in 2021, the next version was not released, so I continued running in the old shoes, as the anticipated release date was only three months away. But that came and went and the release date kept getting pushed back. I kept going with the old shoes, which by now were long overdue to be replaced, and my reward for running in my old shoes … a knee injury.
Now I had to act, so I looked for similar shoes and chose the same brand but a different model, which were crucially a little bit heavier. I eventually realized that these made the knee injury worse due to the slightly increased weight. Knee injury = less running = grumpy Tim! So back to the drawing board and try again, this time a different brand — and lighter. The result? No knee problems, much faster times and a big relief to be able to enjoy running again after nearly a year of struggles. Surprisingly, I also prefer this running shoe over the original.
Look for alternatives before you need them
The moral of this story is that you should not wait until a problem occurs to look for alternatives; I struggled for nearly a year because, when the unexpected happened, I had no other options and had to spend time (and money) on trial and error until I found a solution – I put all my eggs in one basket. Is it the same in your analytical laboratory? Are you reliant on a particular brand and model of instrument? Can you guarantee the unexpected won’t happen and you will be able to operate your instruments as normal, as I thought with the original running shoe?
Case study demonstrates the right approach
Sounds challenging? Not necessarily. In this case study, Thermo Fisher Scientific Pharma Services Group (PSG, also known as Patheon) took exactly this approach with a technology refresh program to replace aging analytical equipment. They implemented the Thermo Scientific Vanquish UHPLC platform, and while there was initial hesitancy from analysts and vendors, these were outweighed by greater flexibility, ease-of-use, enhanced robustness and serviceability resulting in significantly fewer system suitability failures. While installing alternatives can be a significant investment, the outcome can have significant advantages in cost savings and futureproofing to meet regulatory guidance – and avoiding the unexpected when putting all your eggs in one basket.
To assist you in refreshing your technology and providing you with alternatives, we have the Lab-Forward Trade-Up Program, which provides credits and flexible financing options on new systems to allow you to trade up to the latest technology. We also offer advice and can support you with your method transfers.
Consider flexibility for your applications
So, I guess you will ask ”Will you buy only the new running shoes going forward?“ Well, no, when (if) the next version of the old shoe becomes available, then I’ll get a pair as I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket again and it’s good to have two options, as they serve different purposes. I’ll run, predominantly, in the new shoes as they are light and fast, but they’re not great for long runs, so in these instances I’ll go back to the old shoe. It’s the same with PSG, they haven’t converted 100% to the Vanquish platform, as they need that flexibility and other options for certain applications – and they are not putting all their eggs in one basket.
Don’t wait until the challenge occurs: Explore your alternatives today — you might be surprised by the other option.