HappiLabs’ core goal is to improve the happiness of scientists and the quality of their research.
How do we know if we’re achieving that goal with the scientists we work with?
Sometimes we get direct feedback from scientists as in this recent example:
“Happy Holidays HappiLabs! Thanks for all the orders you have placed for us and all the help! You guys are amazing.”
This is good feedback and suggests we’re doing well, but this is a result of focusing on actions we can take to ensure scientists are happy. For instance, we actively work to respond quickly to emails.
We work to have S.M.A.R.T. goals:
Specific – Respond quickly to messages and requests.
Measurable – How fast do we respond?
Achievable – The Virtual Lab Manager team can work to cut response times.
Relevant – The better we are at timely responses, the happier we make scientists.
Timed – We will work to achieve peak efficiency in responses & then
Layered on S.M.A.R.T. goals is setting good goals. Re-assessing goals is allowed.
As scientists, HappiLabs likes data. Data from S.M.A.R.T. goals turns into real world difference-making, including making scientists happy.
As you plan for 2018 and beyond, are your goals good and S.M.A.R.T.?
Virtual Lab Manager at a growing life science company
If you have experience with lab management, purchasing, or customer service apply!
HappiLabs is a small business in Chicago, still in the early stage but past the startup stage, that provides a service to scientists called the Virtual Lab Manager. We are similar to an outsourced purchasing department (some might say a Personal Shopper) for biotech companies and scientific research labs.
Our focus is on customer service, and we’re for-profit but have a non-profit mentality.
Our mission: to improve the happiness of scientists and the quality of their research.
By helping scientists do their job, we are helping all the people on the planet who benefit from inventions, creations, and knowledge that scientists create.
You will co-manage a minimum of two labs. We are “virtual” so your job consists of sitting in an office and communicating with scientists, in other parts of the world, about what they need to run their experiments.
You will be trained to be one of the best lab managers in the world.
A strong candidate will have one or two of these backgrounds:
Lab manager or postdoc who has managed scientists, experiments, and budgets
Purchaser in a non-science setting
Sales rep in the life science industry
Maintaining a daily ToDo List
Utilizing apps and software for managing labs
Communicating with scientists to understand their needs and experiments
Communicating with suppliers (sales reps, technical help, & customer service) to obtain pricing and technical info, place orders, retrieve order updates, and solve logistics and supply chain problems
Scanning the internet for new apps, technologies, or products that make science faster
Keeping detailed accounting records, such Purchase Orders and Invoices
Reporting progress and solving problems at team meetings
Looking to start now, preferably in Chicago.
Full-time or Part-time, 20-40 hours per week,
$50-70k, depending on experience
Medical and Dental health benefits
Food at the office
SKILLS AND TRAITS YOU SHOULD HAVE
We want a long-term commitment, someone who will help a small company grow into a large one.
Tech savvy (very good with a computer, its keyboard and multiple monitors)
A Mac user, comfortable with Google products and spreadsheets
Be proactive – help without being asked to help, and ability to predict problems
Quick, mental flexibility – we’re a growing company, always changing, and a good candidate must be willing (and excited!) to change pace.
A passion for science and desire tomake a difference in the world.
Tough – customers and suppliers can be difficult to deal with. You need to take the hits, be calm with your interactions, and move on.
Confident presence on the phone. We make a lot of phone calls to suppliers.
We analyzed 70 common distributors and manufacturers of scientific supplies, services, and equipment. There are only 6 that are run by women. If this is important for you as you shop for lab supplies, support the companies below.
Science Exchange – Elizabeth Iorns, PhD is the CEO and co-Founder of this hot startup that supplies scientists with easier access to experiments.
Dot Scientific – Dorothy Boone is the Founder and President of this distributor of general lab supplies and equipment.
Chemglass Life Science – Regina Surdam is CEO of this manufacturer of scientific and chemistry products, and supplier of chromatography vials and closures.
Gilson – Atika El Sayed, PhD is the CEO of this manufacturer and supplier of a wide range of manual and automated liquid handling solutions.
Macherey-Nagel – Carolin Wagner is the CEO of this supplier specializing in filtration, chromatography, Rapid Testing, bioanalysis, and medical diagnostics.
Recently discovered: Cori J. Smith owns BioLink Scientific, a distributor of general laboratory suplies.
When a lab hires HappiLabs to be their virtual lab manager and do their lab shopping, we want to make sure we buy from suppliers who fit the values of the lab. Recently, one of our customers asked, “Who are the female owned suppliers? We’d like to buy from them.” Therefore, we hired Dr. Vidhya Sivakumaran (above photo), a cardiovascular–focused postdoc from Loyola University, to do research on the topic. This is an informal study assessing the population of women-owned suppliers of scientific supplies, services, equipment, and reagents.
We selected 70 suppliers with whom HappiLabs has purchased from over the past 6 months
Scanned their website to identify the sex of ownership
If it wasn’t clear, we confirmed website findings with a phone call or email
Note: If we missed any women-owned business beyond the 70, please notify us: hello at happilabs.org
It is well know that most industries are male-dominated. However, this is slowly changing and with this many labs are looking to buy and work with women-run scientific suppliers when it comes to purchasing pipette tips, chemicals, antibodies, centrifuges, etc. It was our hypothesis that there are few women-run businesses. Based on our research, this is true. However, science is doing better than the Fortune 500.
We also observed that only 16.9% of corporate board seats were held by women in 2013, with little progress in narrowing the gender gap (Huffington Post). Michelle Rowley, a tech entrepreneur and founder of Code Scouts (a non-science business), knows this feeling all too well. She was quoted in Entrepreneur magazine as saying, “that is a weird dynamic – being the only woman in the room – and they are all staring at you because they have to. I thought, I wonder how the dynamics would change if we could get more women involved.”
Please share this post with other scientists who might be interested in knowing about women-owned scientific suppliers. And sign up to receive our monthly newsletter with updates about tips and suggestions for being a conscious shopper (and user) of scientific supplies: