Case  Study: University of Waterloo

Preemptive keeps high-tech equipment usage on track.

Case Study
University of Waterloo

The Nanotechnology Engineering Lab is a high-tech teaching facility

Waterloo, Ontario



Executive Summary

The University of Waterloo’s Nanotechnology Engineering Undergraduate Lab keeps their complex equipment bookings running smoothly using Preemptive software. The easy to use features allow both staff and students to manage their resources in real-time.

  • Increases efficiencies for staff
  • App-based booking appeals to students
  • Checklists help manage expensive equipment use

The Situation

Prior to using Preemptive the University lab managed their equipment and bookings using ad-hoc spreadsheets and emails, which was inefficient and time consuming to track. Having complex, expensive, state-of-the-art equipment available for students requires constant accountability and coordination.

As a university teaching lab they didn’t have an unlimited budget to purchase custom enterprise software and as such tried using an open-source alternative. While that was an improvement on the manual process they found the software challenging in terms of data security and privacy, had concerns with the permanence of the technology, and there were too many unrelated features to navigate.

Using Preemptive

By setting up their lab equipment in Preemptive they were able to easily centralize their booking process, increase efficiencies and cut down on time spent managing maintenance issues. They have found it user friendly and quick to implement new items by staff. The fact that it’s app based appeals to their students and is intuitive to have them regularly use.

The checklist feature is something they couldn’t find in other solutions and is a game changer in terms of managing the complexity of the equipment requirements for both staff and students.


By implementing, and regularly using, Preemptive they have seen a dramatic increase in efficiency for the logging of instrument usage and maintenance issues. As well, they have 100% compliance with their users and have easily accessible information pertaining to maintaining the lab space and equipment.

thumb_01_120_120“As a lab manager, Preemptive has helped enormously in keeping on top of maintenance routines, booking resources by users and billing. I especially like the checklist option where users must go through a set list of instructions while using the instrument. It allows me to check to make sure important steps have been followed. the cell phone app allows everyone to stay on top of lab operations.”

Jenn Coggan

Laboratory Coordinator, University of Waterloo