Unlock Your Buying Problem With Covid Lab Test Priority Triangle

Here’s Dr Clare Craig discussing coronavirus test lab strategy, as broadcast 27 October 2020;

There are three things that labs can do, and they can do two of them well.

They can process a whole load of cases, they can get the results out quickly, or they can have quality results.

And you can only pick two.

She goes on to state that at the beginning of the pandemic, the UK picked volume and speed. Which were the right two then. Until infections passed their spike, finally dropping to near negligible levels. She believes a switch should then have occurred to focus on ‘high quality testing’. As ‘this is the opposite of what’s needed [now]. Instead of ensuring accuracy by repeat testing, we have over stretched labs risking cross contamination and we are throwing away what QC checks we had’.

It seems sadly that there has been no appetite to lower either the volume of tests going through or the speed at which they’re being turned around to improve result accuracy.

A chance missed, it appears. The latest in a long line of national health manager bungles that have needlessly cost both lives and livelihoods.

Consider this her version of the classic presentation of choice to a buyer;

service, quality, cost; choose any two.

Which she has remixed as;

volume, speed, quality; you can only pick two.

Where ‘quality’ is synonymous with ‘reliability’ and ‘accuracy’.

Many a buyer likes to think they can get all three.

No-one can.

Procurement professionals may even know of the project management discipline having its own ‘iron triangle’.

Explicitly stating that quality of output is determined by the relationship between time, scope and cost. Entwined to such an extent that if you pull a lever for one, it directly impacts on at least one of the other two.

This covid example is useful for any prospect you feels needs to ‘step back and look at the big picture’.

Not only which two will they plump for, but which one is their prime shaker.

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