iLab Solutions Announces the Results of the 2014 Core Facility Benchmarking Study

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Fourth annual benchmarking study of research core facilities reveals that institutional funding has decreased year-over-year since 2011. Cores are turning to customers to make up the lost revenue.

Providing efficient, high quality and desirable services for the core customer is more important than ever

iLab Solutions announced the results of its 2014 Core Facility Management Benchmarking study which focuses on core facility operations, growth and utilization as well as the common challenges core managers face today.

In its 4th year running, a number of long-term trends were revealed. One of note is the year-over-year decrease in the percentage of revenue that comes from institutional contributions. Core managers appear to be feeling the constraints of this trend. When asked, “What are your biggest challenges as a core manager,” at the top of the list was securing funding for the core.

According to the study, cores are turning to customers to increase revenue. Seventy percent of cores said their top goal for 2014 is to raise customer usage at their facility. However the growth rate of core utilization has fallen since the study’s inception. From 2009-2010, 64% of cores said they experienced an increase in core usage, whereas in this year’s study only 4% of cores experienced an increase in utilization.

“Providing efficient, high quality and desirable services for the core customer is more important than ever,” stated Heather Lorenz, iLab’s VP, Business Development. “But cores are struggling to find the time to build and focus on their customer base.”

Core managers are trying to balance the numerous responsibilities of operating a core. The study revealed that managing workload and handling administrative duties also topped the list of challenges core managers face today. Furthermore, the study found that more time is spent on managing the core than on performing services for the customer.

“There may be areas where cores can make up the difference,” continued Lorenz. The study found that those who use electronic tools to manage core operations spend an average of 22% less time on core operations as compared to those who use other means, such as manual entry or spreadsheets. “Putting systems in place to streamline administrative responsibilities allows more time to focus on serving the customer and generating the necessary revenue to maintain a sustainable core facility resource.”

The full results of iLab Solutions 2014 Core Facility Benchmarking Study can be accessed free of charge on the following webpage:

About iLab: iLab Solutions is the global leader in providing web-based core facility management services to academic research institutions. The functionality includes request management, equipment reservation and usage tracking, project tracking, billing and invoicing, and reporting. iLab has extensive experience providing enterprise-level solutions at major research institutions, including integrations with institutional financial systems (e.g., SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Lawson, Banner, IFAS, etc.) and identity management systems (e.g., Active Directory, LDAP, Shibboleth, etc.) iLab’s dedicated implementation team and full customer support result in high adoption rates. Over 1000 core facilities across more than 100 institutions in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region rely on iLab, including universities, hospitals, independent institutes, and government labs.

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Alicia Cravens
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