A commercial testing laboratory is a service organization which provides analysis reports on samples received against payment. Reliability of communicated analysis results within committed time frames is the key to success of its operations. Chemists make a significant contribution by testing samples as per prescribed protocols. However, chemists alone cannot be held responsible for achieving the growth objectives. Contributions of all members are equally important in making the laboratory a model of success.
The organizational structure of a laboratory depends on its constitution, ownership (government or private) and size. In general laboratory structure is illustrated in the organ gram below:
Senior management plays a leading role in providing quality services and sustained growth. However contributions of other functionaries are equally important and cannot be overlooked. It is equally important to maintain ethical work practices in the laboratory.
In this article the contributory role of different functions are highlighted:
Accounts and finance – responsible for timely release of funds to support timely execution of projects
Procurement – making timely availability of chemicals, equipments and supplies
Human resources – provide skilled manpower for different functions and effective utilization of existing human resources
Information technology – a modern laboratory uses automation and sophisticated analysis techniques. In addition data exchange is controlled between authorized individuals through use of advanced laboratory information management systems. The information technology support is crucial for upkeep of all such operations
Housekeeping and sanitation – a clean laboratory environment is a must for efficient operation of all equipments and for a high degree of reliability on results generated.
Quality assurance – making the quality manual and ensuring quality of results
Maintenance – minimization of breakdowns of utility services and equipments
Marketing – marketing support needs to familiarize clients with the laboratory services as it acts as an interface between the laboratory and its clients
Sample control – sample control helps in collection of samples as per defined norms and their distribution to the testing laboratories
Report review – checks the results before report is generated and ensures delivery of error free reports to customers within the promised time schedules
Security – regulates entry into the premises and keeps checks on removal of samples, chemicals or confidential information in un-authorized manner
It can be seen that a sustained laboratory growth is possible only if all laboratory functionaries’ work in synergy and conscientiously to realize their common goals.