17 Nov, 2020
Amar, and his growing team of over 80 people, are responsible for running the Group’s facilities management (FM) function. He describes it as “just about everything in the labs that isn’t white coat-related.”.
The team has to ensure that the laboratory-based analytical teams can concentrate on what they do best, and not be distracted by non-core functions. Acting as on-site caretakers, the FM team have a wide range of responsibilities, from procuring and maintaining over 10,000 pieces of technical equipment, to ensuring the Group’s continuous supply of vital components.
The team has also had a significant role in supporting others as part of the Group’s commitment to supporting the London 2 NHS network. When many providers’ regular supplies ran perilously low during lockdown, the Group was able to step in and provide Covid Ab testing kits and other consumables to, among others, East and North Herts.
Business continuity is vital and Amar’s team has had to cope with the added complications created by both Covid-19 and Brexit. The pandemic has caused rocketing worldwide demand for, and shortages of many commodities. It’s also disrupted distribution of essential items like reagent and PPE.
The UK officially leaves the EU from January and the FM team have also had to make arrangements with around 240 individual suppliers to ensure there is a Brexit contingency, and six weeks’ worth of supplies are assured post January 1st. Concurrently, the Group is also focusing on procuring as much as possible from UK suppliers.
The FM team has grown organically and after a recent consultation, it has undergone a considerable structural overhaul. New specialist departments such as inventory and projects teams have been created and more traditional transactional processes have been brought in-house. To illustrate this, the dedicated in-house help desk now handles an average of over 2,000 enquiries a month
The ambition for lab services is to create a streamlined, in-house one stop shop that will support the Group’s world class analytical work – and to adapt to the demands and challenges of a rapidly changing world.