Deploying a robust and flexible core facility management system offers institutions significant benefits, saving time and money for core personnel, institutional administrators, and researchers. In addition, the establishment of a shared platform ensures the institution enjoys the full benefit of its significant investment in core operations.
Contribute to a unified electronic research environment
- A unified interface for identifying resources, requesting services, managing approval, and updating project progress enhances ability of researchers to collaborate within and across institutions.
- A single, consistent process for billing and financial management, including an integration between iLab and the institutional financial system, saves time by reducing errors and streamlining the process, and increases cost recovery.
- Integrating with the institution User Directory allows for shared authentication, reducing redundant logins and passwords and allowing for single sign-on.
Save time for cores
- Cores can automatically generate recharges and invoices, handling charges for both internal and external customers. Through integration with the financial system, charges and credits related to services for internal customers can be posted directly to the general ledger. This eliminates data re-entry and improves data accuracy.
- Staff can import data directly from hardware or other software systems for billing.
- Cores can easily update request/project status and post scientific data in a shared space, relieving the burden of providing ad hoc updates to customers.
- Options for grant validation reduce efforts in managing inaccurate or invalid grant codes.
Save time for researchers
- Researchers can find all institution-supported or partner-supported services in one central location and request services through a common process using their institution logins.
- Researchers can monitor the status of their requests at any time.
- File attachments, communications with the core, and billing information are all linked to their associated request, providing quick reference when needed.
Improve financial controls
- Flexible approval work flow ensures all appropriate managers review orders before work begins or after work is completed but before funds are transferred.
- Encumbrance ensures funds will be available when fund transfer is initiated.
- Invoices are auto-generated in the system where the core and administration can leave comments and PI’s can give final approval.
Streamline reporting and increase transparency into core usage, budgeting, and forecasting
- Administrators can generate and review reports that show usage across cores and provide insight into usage within a single core (what services are used, how often, by whom, etc.)
- Administrators and managers can view currently pending requests and work that has been completed but not yet billed or received, providing greater visibility into projected revenue.
- Cores can track actual usage of equipment, which can easily be compared to scheduled reservations.
Raise awareness of available services
- A uniform display and search feature for all cores across the institution ensures researchers know where to find the resources and services available to them.
- Core landing pages can be viewed external to the system, allowing researchers external to the institution to view services available even if they have not received credentials for logging into the system.