Chart & Summary

Outcome Focused KPIs for Whole Lab Optimization


The development of key performance indicators (KPIs), or a set of related and quantifiable metrics, are required to ensure high-level business objectives are met. Used as a critical yardstick to measure progress at multiple levels throughout the organization, KPIs help you monitor where your lab is today, where it is headed with leading indicators highlighted, and the progress along the way. Asset, people, and science productivity all need to be measured and optimized. Coupled together, these metrics not only provide timely insight into lab leadership and allow corrective action to be taken to stay on course, but they also feed the balanced scorecard of the business.

S.M.A.R.T. Metrics and KPIs to Monitor When Making Strategic Decisions

To be of value, key performance indicators should follow the SMART goal format which means they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Procurement, lab managers, and business strategy teams continually seek methods to make their organizations more cost effective, compliant and productive.

Below are key areas organizations should be using to help develop their KPIs:

  • Downtime and response times
  • Service churn which identifies repeatedly repaired, problematic instruments
  • First time fix rate
  • SLA compliance
  • Tail spend analysis which highlights the tail of low volume suppliers in the interest of consolidation leverage
  • Asset utilization and injection throughput
  • Capital planning and asset productivity
  • Maintenance operating costs
  • Fleet instrument age profile and distribution
  • Benchmarking against global peers performance of like equipment

When operating/service metrics are correlated with instrument age and utilization, the below value drivers can be optimized:

Metrics and KPIs to Monitor When Making Strategic Decisions

1Fleet Analysis
Why It’s Important

A baseline understanding of your lab instrumentation and where they are located enables you to compare to global benchmarks and assess distribution differences by manufacturer, model, and lab type.

How to Calculate/KPI
  • Count your equipment type.
  • Note the manufacturer and model.
  • Consider Software version, locations by site, building, and room.
2Tail and Bulk Spend Analysis
Why It’s Important

Identifying opportunities for procurement and consolidation from low volume suppliers allows for consolidation to drive reduced admin costs and secure better purchasing power.

How to Calculate/KPI
  • Sort equipment by quantity, manufacturer, and location to observe lowest manufacturer counts.
3Service Churn Analysis
Why It’s Important

Identifying problematic equipment (i.e., instruments with higher numbers of repairs or downtime) drives asset productivity by reducing operating costs as well as improving lab and research productivity.

How to Calculate/KPI
  • Determine the number of service events as well as the downtime for each instrument to ascertain which ones are most problematic and should be addressed.
4Asset Repositioning
Why It’s Important

Identifying equipment with low utilization and repair reduces equipment footprint and new capital expenditures, while driving asset productivity.

How to Calculate/KPI
  • Correlate service event activity and downtime with asset utilization and asset age for each instrument to discover which ones are performing at optimum levels.
5Instrument and Lab Environmental Monitoring
Why It’s Important

Monitoring and setting alerts for operational performance and equipment utilization.

How to Calculate/KPI
  • Asset Productivity: Obtain instrument utilization metrics and drive capital planning and Opex decisions.
  • Predictive Maintenance: Track performance of critical equipment to understand usage patterns and identify potential maintenance issues.
  • Sample Integrity: Eliminate costly sample and biologics spoilage.
  • Compliance: Audit support and validation.
  • Research Reproducibility: Improve throughput and correlate environment and asset variability in sensitive manufacturing and research labs.
6SLA (service level agreement) Performance
Why It’s Important

Reviewing service response times, first-time fix rates, resolution times, and downtime metrics for equipment provides an understanding if service levels correspond with contract terms.

How to Calculate/KPI
  • Calculate equipment downtime and the amount of time for technician to respond to a request for service.
7Rapidly Identify High Downtime Instruments ̶ Instruments that Need the Most Repairs
Why It’s Important

Identifying problematic equipment with high maintenance costs, (candidates for decommissioning) as well as service improvement areas can lead to better training and parts lead times.

How to Calculate/KPI
  • Determine the number of service events and downtime for equipment.
8First Time Fix Analysis
Why It’s Important

Identifying equipment that was fixed on the first service visit versus equipment that required multiple visits improves uptime and customer satisfaction.

How to Calculate/KPI
  • Capture the number of service visits.
Why It’s Important

Comparing performance against a global standard (equipment and operational metrics) enables the ability to identify improvement areas and isolate best-in-class performance to leverage across other sites.

How to Calculate/KPI
  • Summarize global data set (equipment type, and operational metrics) and compare to a specific customer data set.
10Asset Productivity
Why It’s Important

Overall asset performance based on utilization, downtime, repair rate, and age to drive capital planning and operations decisions as well as asset productivity improvement.

How to Calculate/KPI
  • Determine utilization, downtime and repair rates of all assets.
11Predictive Maintenance
Why It’s Important

Determining the condition of in-service equipment in order to predict when maintenance should be performed can avoid costly downtime.

How to Calculate/KPI
  • Use machine learning based on data such as operation conditions and equipment service history.
12Sample integrity
Why It’s Important

Maintaining quality of samples through monitoring eliminates costly sample and biologics spoilage.

How to Calculate/KPI
  • Monitor critical parameters related to samples such as temperature, pressure and humidity.
13Research Reproducibility
Why It’s Important

Consistent and repeatable research results, workflows and analysis with varying instrument and lab conditions improves throughput.

How to Calculate/KPI
  • Monitor environmental conditions within the lab and equipment.

The Benefits of a Third-Party Partner

It can be difficult to collect and analyze all of the data needed to ensure you are reaching your goals and keeping the KPIs you have set. That’s why it is sometimes necessary to work with a third-party partner – someone who can provide you with the real-time data you need to make informed decisions.

For example, a third party partner can provide benchmarking analytics that not only analyze performance across labs, but also against peers so you can compare your lab’s performance against others in the industry. This type of visibility can give insight into how you can improve your lab’s efficiency. Real-time analytics can also provide information about which instruments are working, how many service repairs are being made, and the average response time. Having all this information helps you reach your KPIs by helping you find ways to reduce downtime and maintenance.


The development of key metrics to measure your lab’s performance can better equip your team for success, leading to greater cost savings.