Asset Management Services Aren’t Apples to Apples: Terms for Your Vendor Shortlist


Your lab productivity depends on reliable and efficient use of a complex network of capital equipment, software systems, reagents, consumables, and personnel. Confounding this, lab managers are frequently asked to do more with less — more productivity and uptime, less budget and support staff. Effective asset management, including the maintenance and service of capital equipment, is crucial to meeting these higher efficiency goals.

Choosing a strategic lab asset management provider usually starts with defining the project scope, including evaluation of the laboratory footprint, precise instrument list, service contract structure, data analysis requirements, expansion potential, GxP compliance issues, internal team support, and, most importantly, key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs and other terms of service should be meaningful and tightly aligned with your lab’s objectives and strategy.

Once you begin your search for an asset management solution, you may find that service providers use similar language but mean very different things. With many potential vendors providing asset management services that all sound the same, how can you a get a true comparison between service offerings?

Below are some examples of how we define our service terms for our asset management capabilities:

Glossary of Asset Management Terms

  • Calibrations (Cal): Low-level component checks, which usually include diagnostics and/or single-point accuracy checks to show basic operation. These tests are for nonregulated instruments.
  • Completed Orders: Number of closed service orders in a given period, regardless of receive or start date, including receipt of all field service reports.
  • Downtime (KPI): For unscheduled events (repairs), the number of business hours from the receive date and time to the complete date and time, as documented in the field service report. Downtime equals response time plus repair time.
  • Elective Services: Services that are not included in the original statement of work, such as asset inventories (including inventories performed at other customer sites that do not join the program), accompanying and chaperoning OEMs and third-party vendors through the facility, relocation, hardware and software updates/upgrades, asset disposition, training, new instrument installation, performing live supplier audits, warranty tracking services, data entry, document customization, and consulting.
  • Installation Qualification (IQ): Those analytical instrument qualification services carried out when any new equipment is first installed and consisting of checking that the equipment’s environment complies with applicable regulations and/or specifications and verifying that the equipment delivered corresponds to the specifications set forth in the applicable purchase order.
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): The set of metrics referring to operational performance agreed to by PerkinElmer and the customer with respect to the work.
  • Maintain: This method uses one of our dedicated, multivendor trained engineers, significantly reducing response times for support of instruments and allowing the enterprise to benefit financially from efficiency savings.
  • On-hand Customer Service Engineer (CSE): A PerkinElmer CSE who is not located onsite, but is assigned to support a specific customer location(s) less than full time to support maintained equipment and other program activities.
  • Administrator (ADMIN): A PerkinElmer administrative resource who is assigned to a specific customer to support the equipment and other program activities. This administrator may be physically located at the customer site or in a remote location based on the work required.
  • Open Calls or Work Orders: The number of incomplete service calls, usually denoted in the number of days overdue.
  • Operational Qualification (OQ): A high-level holistic system check to verify system performance using NIST-traceable standards and testing equipment. These tests are part of the OQ protocol that’s required for regulated (GMP/GLP) instruments. For all services provided, we generate monthly metrics reports/status on all service executed. For all equipment in our program, users have access to a Web-enabled customer portal where they can see service histories, upcoming service events, and dates for service.
  • Preventative Maintenance (PM): The replacement of high-wear parts to ensure optimum performance and uptime of the system over the PM interval. This also includes any cleaning, adjustments, and/or alignments to the system.
  • PM Completion: The percent of planned maintenance service calls completed within a given time period, based on the number scheduled by the calendar start date, as documented in the field service report.
  • Qualification: The action of providing documented evidence that equipment (in accordance with labeled claims) and/or processes work correctly and consistently to produce the expected results. Qualification is part of, but not limited to, IQ, OQ, and performance qualification (PQ). The qualification protocol stipulates the test parameters as well as the acceptance criteria for the test results. The written protocols are step-by-step instructions to be used in the field to qualify equipment, instruments, systems, or subsystems (in accordance with labeled claims), and include data sheets to record the data. These protocols may include calibration.
  • Response Time: The number of business hours from receipt of the repair service call to the start of the repair activity, as documented in the field service report.
  • Subcontractor: A service provider who performs services on behalf of PerkinElmer, at the customer site, after PerkinElmer verification of technical skill sets and their ability to provide service meeting PerkinElmer’s quality standards.
  • Third-Party Vendor (TPV): A PerkinElmer approved third-party or outside service provider that provides services on behalf of customer, sometimes used to perform services in place of an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

PerkinElmer OneSource® Asset Management Services provide an integrated suite of multivendor laboratory services, including corrective and preventative asset maintenance, qualification, calibration, relocation, and asset disposition covering all major equipment manufacturers and technologies. OneSource has delivered these services to small and large companies globally for the better part of the past ten years, servicing more than 500,000 assets. Many of the asset management programs contributing to this total are delivered globally and at scale of 20,000-plus assets each. With this experience, we have developed numerous best practices through many, many lessons learned.