In my last post, I’d mentioned that the SampleManager services environment seems a little strange. Recent events make me think things are just strange all over the industry, right now.
LabWare, for Example
I’d had what works out to be around a twenty hour per week average block open up in my schedule. The drumbeat tells me that there are a lot of projects in the industry for products like the LabWare LIMS / ELN, for example. I hear about customers that can’t find enough consultants to fill their projects. Yet, filling my approximately twenty hours is the same amount of work that it always is – I mean to say that it’s not a trivial task. The process remains about the same as it is when there AREN’T a lot of projects looking for resources.
If I were to get involved with people working with other products, such as Abbott’s StarLIMS or AutoScribe’s Matrix, would I hear the same thing? I wouldn’t be surprised if I did.
It’s a Split
The bottom line to this is that I suspect what we’re hearing about are the large projects. Some of them are bottomless pits for resources. Most of those projects are entirely under contract to the large services vendors AND are basically looking for what sound like employees – I mean that they want consultants who work 40 hours/week for long periods of time and with quite a lot of work on-site.
So, where are the little projects in this – the ones that would potentially fill-out the schedules of people like me? Well, they come in spurts. I start new projects quite frequently and, because they’re small, they’re then finished and I move along. Maybe most of the little projects just don’t need anyone. Maybe they’re all staffed up because they need so little to begin with. It’s hard to say.
Shortages or Not?
As usual, we hear a panic about how the industry is short of people. We’re not short of people. Some sectors currently can’t find enough people working for their preferred vendors but that doesn’t mean there’s an industry-wide shortage. As I’ve said, before, just because you, the person reading this, can’t find someone to work on your project doesn’t make it an industry-wide shortage. We all have choices on how we expand our search, the criteria we use to look for resources or take on new customers. That’s no-one’s problem but our own, basically.