If a laboratory enters into a contract to provide its services to a specific organization, define and describe the requirements, including the methods to be used, adequately in the contract.
Before the contract is signed, the laboratory manager has to review the contract and ensure that his/her laboratory has the capacity to meet the requirements of the clients. I.e. does the laboratory have enough personnel, physical work space, expertise, et cetera, to be able to carry out the required (number of) examinations? Archive records of these reviews.
When meetings are organized between the laboratory and customer to discuss the work that needs to be delivered by the laboratory, make minutes and archive these. Do this also in case a contract is renewed and changes are incorporated in the new contract, also when the preceding contract has not yet ended but when changes/amendments are made to the contract.
Follow the above procedure for every contract and document the procedure in an SOP titled “Entering into a Contract for Service Delivery”. Store contracts in a file titled: “Contracts for Delivery of Services”.
Activities related to Phase 3 - Purchasing and Inventory
When a deviation from a contract is necessary, inform the customer about this. If this makes any change in service delivery of the laboratory to the customer, find the best solution for this potential problem in discussion with the customer.
When a contract is amended within the duration of the contract, follow the same procedure as when entering into the contract.
Make records of these events and archive these behind the corresponding contract in the contracts log file.
To get insight in the available resources now and in the future, perform a financial analysis. In this analysis you must consider and try to frame the costs involved with:
- Facility: type of facility, number of facilities, location of the facility
- Supplies; purchasing and inventory
- Human resources
- Maintenance, calibration, quality control, external quality assessment
Insert everything in a table that also shows the expected expenses over time. Performing this activity will provide you (laboratory manager) with a better view on how much money will need to be spend on what and how much is left or will come short.
Standardize the method for choosing suppliers and evaluating contracts for purchasing and delivery of goods and services.
When durable goods and services need to be purchased, first the requirements (demands and wishes) must be set by the laboratory. Then a selection process will follow in which different suppliers are selected and inspected based on different aspects using a checklist. For assistance an example checklist for procurement of durable equipment and supplies is provided.
In phase 2 an SOP had to be written in which the procedure for selection of suppliers was already recorded. Add to this SOP a clause on evaluation of the performance of the supplier in case the laboratory has a contract with the supplier (e.g. in the case of equipment this can be maintenance contract). In addition, record the procedure that has to be followed when the contract has to be renewed (in case the contract is amended or is expired).
Contracts should be archived in a file called: “Contracts for Receipt of Supplies and Services”.
Record all suppliers to the laboratory in a log sheet called “Logsheet of Suppliers” and store this also in the file “contracts for receipt of Supplies and Services”. This log sheet allows the laboratory to have a good overview of all its suppliers and the potential problems that have occurred in the past with these suppliers.
To evaluate if the contracted supplier is complying with the appointments made in the contract, every supplier has to be evaluated on a regular basis (annually and at renewal of the contract) according to the procedure described in the SOP on Purchasing, Reception, and Release of Materials and External Services. This concerns both suppliers of critical reagents and suppliers of technical services (such as companies contracted for equipment maintenance).
Archive records of these evaluations with the contracts in the file titled: “Contracts for Receipt of Supplies and Services”.