From Paper to QReserve

How One Lab in Portugal Runs Better with QReserve

Joana Ricardo, PhD Student
Centro Química-Física Molecular at the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, Portugal

Joana Ricardo is exploring the molecular underpinnings of diabetes for her PhD, and along with her colleagues at the Centro Química-Física Molecular (CQFM) at the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, Portugal, they rely on a lot of specialized equipment.

Several researchers all share fluorescence microscopes, spectrometers, and tools for studying nanomaterials, polymers, peptides, and membrane biophysics. They also welcome guest researchers who come for months at a time to use their equipment and facilities. Managing all of these users was becoming a major chore for Joana and her lab so they needed to find a way to coordinate all this activity.

Initially they relied on pen and paper. As manager of the lab equipment, Joana would head weekly meetings to discuss who needed which pieces of equipment and write out the schedules on paper calendars. Those calendars would then be placed next to equipment for all to see. The paper method came with its challenges, of course. When anyone wanted to make changes to their bookings, they would have to track each other down or ask Joana about availability, which made her run around trying to coordinate schedules. At the end of each year, someone in CQFM would spend an entire day or two reviewing paper logs from the year and entering that usage into an Excel spreadsheet for tracking and billing purposes.

Joana needed to make a change. She decided to switch to an electronic scheduling system so that all schedules would be in one place for everyone to access and coordinate with.

After trying several options, Joana chose QReserve for its feature-rich platform and user-friendly interface. QReserve served as a clean and easy-to-use scheduling platform that addressed all of her lab’s needs. She also appreciated QReserve’s appealing user interface, which made for a pleasant experience.

"People would come to me to ask what equipment was free the following week, and I would have to coordinate between everyone. Now they just go through QReserve!"

Joana had no troubles getting started. Setting up all of her users and resources was easy and she and her colleagues were able to learn all about the platform by simply using it. "People would come to me to ask what equipment was free the following week, and I would have to coordinate between everyone. Now they just go through QReserve!" says Joana.

Many Users Share Equipment
Accessing equipment in a timely and efficient manner was a top priority for Joana's lab.
Group 3 Fluorescence and Biosystems, Centro Química-Física Molecular at the Instituto Superior Técnico
Lisbon, Portugal

Managed through QReserve, Joana’s lab now runs better than ever. Joana still heads weekly meetings to discuss everyone’s plans, but now those plans go right into QReserve for everyone to see—that means no more running around for Joana. Joana herself uses QReserve daily to see last-minute requests and to quickly book a piece of equipment as soon as it becomes free. And best of all, no longer does anyone have to spend two whole days entering usage data from an entire year into Excel. QReserve prints those billing reports in an instant.

Joana's lab now gets more use out of their equipment because of the improved coordination. Since she and her colleagues no longer run around trying to figure out schedules, the equipment no longer sits unnecessarily idle. They can also quickly understand and compare equipment usage across their lab through QReserve’s automatic billing reports. That information directly informs management decisions such as which equipment needs repairing or replacing and who is responsible for expenses.

QReserve has simplified Joana's and her colleagues' lives and their lab has benefitted tremendously in productivity because of it. Instead of wasting time with scheduling and management, QReserve helps Joana’s laboratory focus on what really matters—their research.