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CDS Efficiency ELN General LIMS LUFC LabConsultants Workflow

Selection and Implementation of Laboratory Software & Hardware

How do I make the best decision for my laboratory?

Did you ever spend a large amount of money on a new instrument or a new software solution, and came to conclusion that the instrument or software did not meet your expectations?

Have the features and benefits of these instruments or software solutions been exaggerated by the vendor(s)?

Did the user requirements ever change in a late state of the proces or even after the purchase, so that the chosen solution did not fit anymore?

Did you ever go through a complete selection process with a vendor(s) to find that  the budget was cancelled in a late stage of the process?

Did your laboratory ever experience an implementation of a LIMS or similar software that was not completed successfully or even cancelled?

Is the answer on one or more of these questions YES, or are you not sure?

In that case it may be worthwhile to involve a Vendor-Independent-Laboratory-Investment-Specialist during your current or next laboratory-investment project.

LUFC LabConsultants supports you with the following steps in the selection process:

  • Determine the current and desired workflow.
  • Determine the bottlenecks in the workflow and find possible solutions to improve the workflow and increase efficiency.
  • Build u justification for an investment in manpower, hardware and/or software solutions.
  • Writing a URS (User Requirements Specification) for a new instrument and/or a new software solution (For example a LIMS or ELN).
  • Guide the internal processes to come to a well-founded investment plan.
  • Approach suitable vendors and gather the necessary technical documentation to start the “Vendor- and Software Selection“.
  • Determine the short list of suitable products & vendors.
  • Determine the content of the demonstrations by the short-list vendors.
  • Evaluate the demonstrations and rate the vendor & products.
  • Commercial and technical contract negotiations with the 2 best vendors.
  • Report to the management to provide the input to make the decision for the best product for the laboratory.
  • Project Management during implementation (optional).

The action plan above is only an example. Depending on the nature of the project, steps could be added or left out.

In case you want to discuss what LUFC LabConsultants could do to support your next selection and purchase project, let us know by e-mail to: info@lufc-labconsultants.com

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CDS Efficiency ELN General Lean LIMS LUFC LabConsultants Quality Workflow

Laboratory Scan (LabScan & LabInfoScan)

  • How valid are the results my laboratory is delivering at the end of the day?
  • Is the laboratory organization fit for its purpose?
  • Where are the bottlenecks in the laboratory workflow?
  • Is my laboratory functioning with optimal efficiency?
  • Are the laboratory resources in line with the demand?
  • Does my laboratory informatics solution effectively support the timely delivery of high-quality results and reports to my customers?
  • Which potential improvements in my laboratory (workflow) would boost the quality of results in the most cost-effective manner?

Above are only a few examples of questions that (laboratory) managers ask themselves regularly to keep an up-to-date view on the status of their laboratories. Answering these questions is not always easy.

The (laboratory) manager often has a hard time getting a clear picture on the performance of the laboratory. In many cases an impartial judgement is formed only after an assessment of an external regulatory body, hardly the ideal way to get this clear picture. An alternative way is to ask an independent expert consultant to conduct an investigation. An independent expert consultant can easier get a clear and unbiased picture of the quality and efficiency of your laboratory organization. Furthermore this consultant can recommend changes to improve the overall (quality)performance of the laboratory.

LUFC LabConsultants consists of a number of laboratory- and quality consultants that have a strong background in assessing and advising laboratories around the world.

LUFC LabConsultants developed a new service called LabScanto be able to support laboratories to keep their (quality)performance on the highest level.

The Laboratory Scan is often conducted in order to provide answers to a number of questions that the (laboratory)management has concerning their own laboratory.

Next to the questions above, there are a number of general topics that are covered during the Laboratory Scan.

The general topics are:

  • Quality Assurance: Method validation; Control steps (primary-, secondary- and tertiary ); Calibration and traceability; Registrations and control of deviations, Quality manual.
  • Efficiency of organization, workflow, people, resources and information handling.
  • Workflow: Effectiveness of and potential bottlenecks in work processes, sample routing, planning and execution of analysis, information handling.
  • Data & Information handling: Accessibility (SOP’s, methods, data, reports); Software solutions; Data integrity and data security; Backup and restore procedures.
  • Organization: Structure; People (knowledge, experience, training, motivation, ambition, satisfaction); Communication (internal, customers); Workload; Customer orientation.

The topics mentioned above are the foundation of the Laboratory Scan. Upon request of the (laboratory) management, the topics of the Laboratory Scan can be adapted.

Following steps, among others, are taken during the execution of the Laboratory Scan:

  • Definition of topics of investigation.
  • Study of records (results, deviations, validations etc) and documentation (quality manual, SOP’s, workload, financial reports etc.)
  • Interviews with several employees (management, laboratory technicians, QA, IT, QP, internal customers.
  • Laboratory assessment with focus on Quality Assurance, efficiency of workflow, information handling and human factors (workload, qualifications, motivation, education, ambition, safety-health-welfare)
  • Reporting and presentation of findings, discussion on topics of investigation, potential bottlenecks, conclusions and recommendations.

Do you have questions on the content of the Laboratory Scan? Would you like to discuss the benefits that a Laboratory Scan could bring to your organization? Let us know by e-mail on: info@lufc-labconsultants.com

https://www.lufc-labconsultants.com

 

 

 

Categories
CDS Efficiency ELN General LIMS LUFC LabConsultants Workflow

Laboratory Software

In recent years many developments in analytical techniques have been targeted towards the decrease of the analyses time. The aim is obviously to increase the amount of sample, per unit time. The result of this development is that in many cases the analyses time is no longer the rate-limiting step.

The rate-limiting factor has shifted towards the sample preparation and the data handling towards the final report.

In many laboratories the sample preparation and data handling involve a lot of manual steps.

Many laboratories still use Excel-based solutions for data handling and data storage, which are often manually filled with data. This is, next to being very time consuming, also susceptible to the introduction of transcription errors. Tracking & tracing and quality assurance of data in these Excel-based solutions is a big challenge, to say the least.

Some LIMS implementations still rely too much on manual data entry. The contemporary LIMS solutions, with the right implementation, are able to significantly increase the efficiency of a laboratory. Some functionalities that are used to achieve this are, automatic data transfer from instruments to the LIMS, automation of calculations and also the automatic generation of customer-specific reports. The LIMS can also play role in the management and improvement of the workflow in the laboratory. Most LIMS solutions are able to support the laboratory technician with the day to day workflow in the laboratory. This may involve SOP’s, work lists, calculations and specifications, report generation, instrument calibration, instrument maintenance etc.

In recent years, next to LIMS, also ELN (Electronic Lab Notebook), SDMS (Scientific Data Management Software and ECM (Enterprise Content Management) have gained a significant role in the laboratory data management.

To be able to efficiently handle the increasing number of analyses, laboratories will need to use faster analyses techniques like UPLC, hence will also need to enhance speed and efficiency of the sample preparation and data handling.

Laboratories experience a growing challenge to find the best route towards the best automation & software solution for their specific situation. Of course you may, in an early stage,  turn to a number of vendor for help. These vendor however will not be able to provide you with an independent (free of commercial influences) advice. An alternative is to turn to an independent specialist for vendor-neutral support to determine your user requirement specification. This consultant can also guide you through the complete process of solution-selection, vendor-selection and implementation (project management) of the best solution for your laboratory.

LUFC LabConsultants has a number of highly experienced consultants who will assist you in the process described above. A good starting point is a (detailed) description of the current workflow and determine the parts of the workflow that would benefit most from automation (software and/or hardware).

LUFC offers a separate product for this initial investigation of your laboratory processes, called “laboratory scan.

In case you have questions, or would like to discuss your situation, send us an e-mail: info@lufc-labconsultants.com

For our contact details click here.

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Customer-Management Efficiency General Laboratory Laboratory-Scan Lean LUFC LabConsultants Smart-Laboratory Workflow

Smart Laboratory – Connected to Business Goals and Objectives

… Add value to products & services and enhances business result …

An “Agile Enterprise” is a fast moving, adaptable and robust business. It is capable of rapid adaptation in response to unexpected and unpredicted changes and events, market opportunities, and customer requirements.An Agile Laboratory is well connected and in-line with the demands and requirements of the business it is supporting. It adds significant proven value to the products, services and business result of the enterprise. For this reason the enterprise is committed to invest in the laboratory to bring (or keep) it on the necessary quality and capacity level needed for it to continue adding the recognized added value.This must sound like music to your ears! Unfortunately, for many laboratories, the real situation is very different.
During the last decennium and even more in the current time, laboratories have become more and more disconnected from the business that they are supporting. Upper management is often unaware of the activities and added value of the laboratory and in some cases the lab is even perceived as a “necessary evil” that only cost money and doesn’t add value to the company.  Consequently the laboratory (QA/QC departments) very often stand last in line when budgets are divided among the departments. What happens next is that the QA/QC departments are hit even harder during times of crises/restructuring, budgets for people and equipment are cut down to a marginal level, making it almost impossible to operate a lab on an acceptable quality level. People get frustrated and seek employment elsewhere and are often not replaced, adding even more to the problem. The level of (quality) support the laboratory is able to supply goes down, contributing to diminishing the perceived value of the lab even more…..The downward spiral starts spinning even faster, combined with negative “Finger Pointing” between QA/QC departments and upper management.This seems like a very negative scenario, however the many reactions on the Linkedin Poll, that was started recently, show this to be a very real problem in various types of laboratories around the world. How can we make sure that the laboratory will become acknowledged as a valuable asset of the modern (Agile) Enterprise?
 
You recognize the situation and would like to change it for the better. However you don’t have the time, people & budget to do something about it. You think the only feasible choice is to adapt to the situation and hang on until….This is a scenario that is heard very often. Many laboratories are spinning in this “vicious circle” with “no-time, no people, no-budget, limited added value, no-innovation and no-future?”
We could ask ourselves whether there is a future for many laboratories incase they are not able to break this “vicious circle” and become a (acknowledged) valuable asset to the enterprise that they are part of.LUFC LabConsultants is committed to help laboratories around the world to brake this vicious circle and reconnect them to the business.

How can we achieve this?

The laboratory needs to increase its (acknowledged) value for the business in order to gradually change the perception of its role in business performance.In most cases  laboratories & business need outside expert help to start a constructive communication and mutual willingness to change & strengthen the cooperation. For this to be successful, outside experts are needed with both laboratory and business background.LUFC LabConsultants consists of highly experienced laboratory, quality and business consultants. We understand both business requirements and laboratory operations.We can help the laboratory realize and strengthen their added value and rebuild bridges between the QA/QC department and the business & upper management. Depending on the exact situation at your laboratory we use tools like Laboratory Scan,  LabInfoScan and Efficiency & Workflow optimization.

Are you interested in our Smart Laboratory services, contact LUFC LabConsultants via e-mail: info@lufc-labconsultants.com or call us at tel: +31 492 849450

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Customer-Management Efficiency General Laboratory Laboratory-Scan Lean LUFC LabConsultants Quality Smart-Laboratory Social Media Workflow

External and internal laboratory customers

Non-commercial laboratories very often only deliver their services to the company of which they are part of. They deal with internal customers like production, R&D, quality department and sales. This type of laboratory also has regular contact with customers, for example in case of quality related customer complaints.Managing the (internal) customers, towards delivering the agreed service in time and with the highest degree of quality, is experienced as a big challenge by many laboratories. The challenge only grows after the decision has been made to also take on external customers, to strengthen the financial justification of the laboratory organisation. The acquisition and retention of external customers is even more important for commercial laboratories. The acquisition of new customers is not an easy task especially in the current economical conditions. New marketing and acquisition strategies are necessary to be able to attract new customers.
Common issues with Customer Management

  • Inadequate agreements between lab and customers
  • Insufficient knowledge of the reasoning behind certain requests for analyses. How meaningful are certain analyses?
  • Insufficient communication between lab and customers
  • Added value of the laboratory not recognized by the (internal) customers
  • Missing strategy for acquiring new customers
  • Limited knowledge of account management towards retention and increase of turnover at existing customers
  • Commercial tasks executed by poorly commercial-educated lab technicians
  • Limited marketing efforts to increase the awareness with customers of the service portfolio of the lab
LUFC LabConsultants can advise and support your laboratory with a refreshing new way to effectively manage your internal and external customers.
 

How can LUFC help improve Customer Management

  • Identify and solve bottle necks in the customer communication, customer service agreements and current internal customer testing activities  (Laboratory Scan)
  • Re-align the laboratory activities with the testing- and information needs of the internal customers (Smart Laboratory)
  • Setup of marketing and sales activities including the use of social media
  • Commercial training for laboratory technicians, executed by commercial laboratory consultants
  • Sales and marketing coaching “on the job”

We bridge the gap between laboratory and customers

Are you interested in our Customer Management services or would you like to discuss the possibilities for your laboratory, contact  LUFC LabConsultants via e-mail: info@lufc-labconsultants.com or call us at tel: +31 492 849450

Categories
CDS Efficiency ELN General Lean LIMS LUFC LabConsultants Quality Workflow

LUFC LabConsultants

LUFC LabConsultants consists of a group of experienced independent laboratory and quality consultants. These consultants supports your laboratory with all-round expertise on all laboratory processes and quality management.

The LUFC consultants are available to assist you with the optimization of your laboratory processes. This could be targeted towards efficiency and workflow enhancement, but could also consist of support on the setup or optimization of your analytical methods and data handling.

LUFC LabConsultants gives your laboratory one source of highly experienced independent laboratory and quality consultants.

LUFC LabConsultants consortium is setup to provide vendor-neutral advise and support to the laboratory.  Achieving the best solution for your laboratory is key. To warrant its independence, LUFC LabConsultants will not sell laboratory equipment or laboratory software.

The main services that are offered by LUFC LabConsultants:

For our contact details click here.