Evaluation of Capital Investments at Cliniqa Corporation: A Systematic Ranking and Evaluation Procedure

Management teams are frequently charged with making informed decisions for valid investments and cost-saving ideas for laboratory instruments. Cliniqa Corporation is a research and manufacturing company that produces quality controls and calibrators for a number of in-vitro diagnostic instruments. The semester-in-residence project resulted in an organized investment evaluation procedure for management to consider all the relevant factors before committing to an instrument procurement decision. Purchasing new equipment can extend the capabilities of the company into additional product lines and strategically target desired customers. It was important to establish an expert system to harvest the knowledge of senior management and to potentially improve on the current evaluation techniques. The research methodology included an evaluation of the current instruments in operation to set a baseline on the previous evaluations and to establish a quantitative ranking system. The sensitivity of the factors required the continuous fine-tuning of the analysis tool. The result of the project was a five-step evaluation tool with proof-of-concept pilot testing for the recommendation of instrument investment. The process began with setting constraints based on the needs and requirements that the company can commit to for asset acquisition. Secondly, data was collected for the criteria of: manufacturer, type of analyzer, first year introduced to market, square footage, routine maintenance, assay menu capability, test throughput, ability of being an open channel instrument and continuous runs, requirement for mainline water hookups, and incremental training required for a routine operator. Then, quantitative ranking values (1-10) were applied and compared against the constraints. Third was to calculate the total cost of ownership for qualified instruments. The fourth step was to consider the qualitative factors of: instrument usability, upholding company reputation, customer satisfaction, self-imposed analyzers for strategic contractual purposes, and product line expansion. The last step of the tool was to analyze all the factors involved for the recommendation of new instruments. The pilot testing proposed the purchase of a refurbished Roche cobas e411, Abbott Architect i1000sr, or Siemens Advia Centaur CP to meet the company’s objectives of maintaining quality products and boosting overall profitability.