Online Management for Shared Facilities
Resource sharing has become an absolute necessity for modern scientific research because of the increasing expense and complexity of instruments. While enjoying the benefits of resource sharing, the managers of these facilities realize that they face a number of major challenges, including:
- How to control access to the facility? Daytime versus 24 hour?
- How to schedule the instruments efficiently?
- How to keep usage and maintenance records of the instruments?
- How to inform technical staff when an instrument needs attention?
- How to maintain an up-to-date user database?
- How to get performance reports of each instrument's usage?
- How to manage allocation of costs associated with the instruments?
- How to invoice internal and external users?
Further, with increasing federal scrutiny of grants and appropriate use of grant resources (i.e., federal compliance), there is an added pressure on facility directors and managers to ensure proper record keeping and a usage charge structure consistent with the federal mandates.
Only recently have the facility managers started considering complete accounting solutions with online applications. However due to the lack of communication between laboratory managers and software developers, these online applications often result in less flexibility (dedicated for certain charge rate structure, certain facility use, for example) or less functionality (such as various financial reports, reservation limits, for instance).
The original author of FOM, Dr. Shuyou Li, works in the largest core facility at Northwestern University, the NU Atomic- and Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center (NUANCE). With all his experience in microscopy and laboratory management, Dr. Li is in complete tune with the needs and wishes of all, users, managers, sponsors and high administrators of such facilities.
With six years of experience using FOM at Northwestern University and other institutions, FOM software is mature and amenable to diverse needs across disparate facilities.
If your lab has no need to restrict instrument access, you may consider licensing FOM with the basic type.
If you want to completely eliminate unauthorized use of the instruments and have absolute control of instrument usage, please consider the standard type of license.
Ready to purchase? Click here to request a quotation, or you may purchase online with a credit card.
See an example solution of standard license of FOM.
Or click here to see a comparison of four license types.
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