Friday, 1 July 2011

The Lab continues to be very busy

It was around this time last year that we started to see an increase in the demand for analysis of samples. That demand has remained in place and I can safely say that our lab has never been busier. This is good news and not so good news. Good news because it is very encouraging to see that so many of you are increasing the amount of research that you are using stable isotopes for. The not so good news is that the increased number of samples that we have been receiving has meant that the lead time for analysis has increased for most sample types.

In order to meet the increased demand, we did two things in the first quarter of this year. First off, we re-furbished and upgraded one of the mass spectrometers that was under-utilized. This has given us extra capacity for high temperature continuous flow - IRMS and extra capacity for deuterium measurements. Secondly, we recruited another person for the technical support staff, Joanna Bruce. Joanna has already been trained up to prepare samples and is now doing so on a day to day basis alongside the rest of the team (Anne, Margaret and Sharon).

Even with this extra capacity in place the lead times for analysis are still longer than they used to be and what we would like them to be. We apologize to you for that but would also like to thank all of our customers for your patience. All samples that arrive at our facility are logged in, in the order that they are received and join the queue behind orders that have already arrived. We think and hope that this is the fairest way for all of our customers.

It is good to know that people are willing to wait a bit longer because of the quality of the service that we provide.