Welcome to our new quarterly product blog. It has been a busy start to 2023 for the product and development team here at Clustermarket, and this year we are focusing on building on the platform you use today to achieve our vision - providing an operating system for lab infrastructure providing tools and functionality that makes it easier for you to run your lab efficiently.
Firstly, we would like to thank you for the invaluable feedback you share with us - from ways we can improve the platform to functionalities that will help you manage your labs easily. We want to show you some of the highlights of the work that has been done in the last three months based on your feedback.
The following are the three main areas we have been working on after listening to what you have said:
- Improving usability and giving you more control
- Building on our asset management capabilities
- Supporting the lab of the future
Improving usability and giving you more control
We know how important it is for us to improve the usability of the site and give you more control, and in the last three months some of the we have developed some platform upgrades to achieve this:
Changing Groups to Access groups
When talking to a lot of our customers it became clear that a lot of people didn’t understand the purpose of groups, they thought these were teams or research groups, when in reality they are access groups, used to give people access to equipment.
To make this clearer, we have adjusted the wording in the navigation and any area that mentions groups to help make this clearer.
The ability to turn projects on or off for your lab via the setting menu
During conversations with a lot of our industry customers it was pointed out that projects were not something that was of use to them, and this may also be the case for some of our other users, therefore we decided to give you the choice whether to utilize this feature in your lab. In the same way as we have done for both services and training, you can opt out of the features via the advanced setting tab in your lab settings, if you switch the toggle off, the feature will be removed from your lab, but you will always have the option to turn it back on if you change your mind.
While we have always given you the ability to export your bookings to an external calendar, and Outlook is often the calendar our customers use, sometimes a delay in the updates between our calendar and yours can be experienced. To avoid this,we have built a new feature for our Premium and Enterprise customers that will allow you to integrate your Clustermarket calendar into your Outlook calendar enabling instant booking updates. If you are interested in finding out more about this integration or another feature that may be of interest, please do request a demo here: https://clustermarket.com/book-a-demo
Building on our asset management capabilities
Our booking functionality is really well developed and something we will continue to work on and improve, but an area of the platform we believe could do more to support you is asset management, and so the next area we will cover is building our asset management capabilities.
There are a lot of tools, integrations and functionalities we are looking to add to the site that will be based on the asset data you upload to your labs, but for many of them to work we need to make sure we have accurate data for your assets.
As a starting point in what will be a long journey in this area, we have made two changes:
Suggest manufacturer and model
The list of manufacturers and models available in our current equipment upload functionality is not exhaustive, and though there were text fields you could use to add new ones, this was not an ideal way to add information, as if an error gets introduced there is no easy way to change or remove it. Due to that,we have changed this to allow you to suggest a new manufacturer and model if you cannot find it by searching the lists.
Just type in the manufacturer or model you want to add to our upload list and a notice will appear asking if you want to make a suggestion.
Click on the Suggest one here link and a pop up will appear to allow you to do so.
When we receive your suggestion we will confirm what you have sent and add it to the lists on our equipment upload modal.
Added fields to equipment details page
Several of you have contacted us about the difficulty you were having with finding the equipment serial number for your lab equipment, therefore this is now available for you on the equipment details page.
Supporting the lab of the future
And the last area we want to highlight is how we are growing to support the lab of the future.
We have been working in partnership with Eppendorf over the last few months to build an integration that allows you to surface live Eppendorf VisioNize sensor data on your rooms and equipment on the Clustermarket site. We are really excited about this integration - if you want to find out more, please contact our sales team to discuss this further.
We have a lot of exciting developments coming and if you are interested in helping us develop these features by joining some of our development workshops or providing feedback on our prototypes, we would love to hear from you. Contact us and we will be in touch soon.
Thanks for taking the time to read our first quarterly product blog, we look forward to sharing more next quarter.