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Outsourcing management in laboratories – How not to lose the thread?

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As part of its mission to conduct the test request, the laboratory may have to outsource certain operations to subcontractors. The test plan proposes a decentralized examination of the “classical” laboratory process. This is for different reasons: technical or legal, unavailability of a machine or control of the test result by a different technique. In all cases, the subcontractor’s action supplements the laboratory’s mission in order to assist it in the life cycle of the test request, from its genesis to the publication of the final test report.

In this context, therefore, it is possible to see the importance that subcontractors can have when they are integrated as stakeholders in the laboratory process. This management is crucial because the monitoring of external activity adds a problem to the current context of laboratories, namely how to manage and monitor subcontracted test requests, between internal and external actors?

Need to have access to the “full picture”

Just as the traceability of information over time is an important issue in order to improve the testing process, supplier monitoring requires transparency of the actions carried out within the framework of its mandate. Sosthènes de La Rochefoucauld said that “Trust is earned and cannot be demanded.” and because the results brought about following a test request are critical for the Design Office or the Production Department that requests them, it is not possible to leave room for improvisation to manage subcontracted shipments.

More specifically, the laboratory making the test request needs to be able to have an overview of the entire process, which is why, like document management, (Read : Documentary Management LIMS – The happiness of ordered knowledge) it requires the sharing of information in a centralized repository. Thanks to this, the actors involved can consult all or part of the test plan and thus guarantee the quality and traceability of the test, even among subcontractors.

Intangible capital, the cornerstone of competitiveness

It is a real competitive lever on which it is possible to capitalize in order to optimize your test request management process. Because centralized management of all the stakeholders involved in the test plan makes it possible to generate monitoring performance indicators and to highlight the points of slowdowns, and possibly plan corrective action.

Thus, the implementation of these indicators makes it possible to evaluate subcontractors and thanks to the integration of subcontracted information into the information system, the advantages are numerous such as facilitating audits for certifications, increasing productivity by easily finding test data and helping them to operate optimally in their own contexts.

Drawing on more than 25 years of experience in the management of high value-added technical data, BASSETTI offers its tool for optimizing efficiency in the management of test requests: TEEXMA® LIMS. This modular and configurable solution supports the management of laboratories from the test request to the validation of the test report, in order to ensure the valorisation of laboratory information and to help decision-making, by optimising the resources invested.

To learn more, feel free to register for our LIMS Thursday Webinar, every 4th Thursday of the month: Register for the next session.

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Quality Management integrated into LIMS document management

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Today, quality challenges are at the heart of the concerns of many companies. In fact, it is necessary to define quality objectives in accordance with a given strategy. The goal: to satisfy customers and provide them with products that meet their expectations. Quality concerns the final product, but also the different stages inherent in the manufacturing process. The starting point concerns R&D projects carried out in laboratories within or outside a company. The tests performed in these laboratories produce data that will have a significant impact on decision-making at the corporate level.

This is where the TEEXMA® LIMS software package, developed by BASSETTI for more than 25 years, comes in. It embodies a single, central repository for all experimental laboratory data, enabling this information to be capitalized and valued over time. To frame these activities, the software can also be positioned as a quality reference system. As a matter of fact, TEEXMA® LIMS identifies all the quality documents of a laboratory, in order to ensure compliance with good practices on the part of the people involved in the performance of tests and reports. The software will store, according to a standardized model, the practical normative documents (work instructions, procedures, user manuals…) as well as all the elements necessary for the implementation of a System Management Quality (SMQ). For example, TEEXMA® LIMS can capitalize on all documents dealing with the ISO 17025 standard, which groups together the general requirements concerning the competence of calibrations and testing in laboratories with a goal to provide certification. The software also helps to identify non-conformities and implement appropriate action plans.

Optimized quality document management within a laboratory saves valuable time in searching for information about a standard or procedure, and ensures quality information within the documents themselves, through regular updates, management of modification rights and a defined change validation process.
Access to complete and reliable information is an essential prerequisite for the durability of a test center. Responding to the challenges of information management in laboratories, TEEXMA® LIMS embodies a solution for all your information management problems.

Documentary Management LIMS – The happiness of ordered knowledge

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The visible disorder distracts us from the true source of the disorder.” Marie Kondō, a champion of tidying up, largely influenced by Japanese culture, teaches us to keep only the essential and to get rid of the superfluous… However, in a context of memory conservation, this technique faces a major problem! Especially in companies developing high value-added data. Document management is essential to preserve “corporate memory.” From the registration of the test request to the issuance of the results, there is a real need to make collaborative work in order to enhance the value of the information in a document and allow its simple dissemination. With the goal of optimizing time and cost, how can we save time and ensure traceability in the search for information?

Good document management requires the ability to manage the complex relationships between information, to track changes while respecting the quality of the documentation. In order to understand in more detail the challenges of a document’s life cycle, BASSETTI relies on its 25 years of experience in Technical Expertise Management® to provide a document management solution, including for quality documents, test reports, certificates of analysis, or is used to capitalize on standards.
In this respect, the implementation of a single, centralised document management system allows for the harmonisation of daily practices.

  • First, through the implementation of a standard document model to produce uniform reference documents, regardless of the issuing entity. By automatically creating compliant documents, the tedious steps of capitalization are eliminated and employees can focus on higher value-added tasks.
  • In addition, the risk of data entry errors due to human intervention is considerably reduced, ensuring better data reliability.
  • Finally, harmonisation is the keyword of the organization. Using a standard format, it is easy to find the necessary information to follow procedures, especially in the case of SOPs aimed at preventing the risks of a potentially risky situation.

However, TEEXMA® offers the possibility of creating simple and flexible templates, capable of meeting all user needs, ensuring the traceability of the test cycle: from the reception of the request to the valuation of the test data.
Also, this editing unicity greatly facilitates the stages of capitalisation, dissemination, of course and information enhancement. The time saved in retrieving information is considerable, thanks in particular to powerful search tools. In addition, the document management tool allows automated extraction, configurable through filters, which ensures the rapid reconstitution of technical documentation.
However, it is necessary that the process from creation to the valuation of the document be carried out in complete security. And this is possible, in particular, thanks to the Workflow module offered by TEEXMA®, which makes it possible to monitor the validation processes and distribute information taking into account the level of accreditation of this profile. The distribution of access rights is defined upstream, all this in order to ensure traceability and facilitate document archiving.

So, if three important criteria must be retained when saving experimental data : traceability, safety, and harmony.
To learn more about our solution: http://www.bassetti-group.com/en/teexma%C2%AE-plm/documents-automation

The benefits of a complete interface to Information Systems

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A new challenge in recent years, the interfacing of digital tools to one’s work environment has become much more complex, particularly due to the multiplication of software used within a company. Word, Excel, Cloud, internal database, and other loose sheets… How to ensure good interfacing so as not to lose productivity or integrity?

The simple solution: use a technical collaborative software!

Taking into account the specificities inherent to each digital work environment, interfacing business software with computer software in a company can seem expensive. However, the development of specific connectors allows an increase in efficiency between departments.

In order to ensure optimal integration in the IT galaxy, business software must be equipped with standardized languages and programming interfaces (such as APIs), for example, to facilitate these connections.

In addition, these software packages are increasingly being used to support the company’s various instruments, so it is important that the IT department can interface them easily.

 

And it is by combining this intelligent interfacing approach, thanks to its connections to existing software, that the TEEXMA® solution perfectly meets this dynamic. The first software dedicated to the technical and scientific world makes it easy to meet the requirements of the ISM, particularly with regard to compatible connectors. Thus, TEEXMA® LIMS, our collaborative tool in the laboratory environment, has been able to adapt to these issues and can be connected to all the tools in the IT landscape, but also to other tools, such as testing machines. Ensuring, therefore, the constant synchronization of data from a plurality of elements.

Research, exploit and enhance test data

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The management of all interdependent processes, which is the responsibility of a laboratory, is a complex task that requires the implementation of appropriate processes and tools in terms of laboratory data management. This is in order to be able to easily exploit and enhance test data, by setting up indicators to measure results, but also to plan the resources needed to carry out each test. Moreover, the laboratory data management system set up by the company must be able to monitor all processes, from the test request to the obtaining of results.

In fact, these test data exist in huge amounts in laboratories, not to mention the good practice processes to be followed. So, these mountains of data are very often scattered in a myriad of different documents. This raises a problem of standardizing the format of the document, in order to ensure its accessibility to all those who need access.

Also, this retention of knowledge creates a strong devaluation of employees’ missions. According to an IDC survey, knowledge workers spend 44% of their time searching for the relevant information they need but do not find it. When scaled up to the cost of capitalizing resources, this lost time is estimated, on average, at $5,700 per person, per year.
It is therefore clear that the experts’ high value-added missions are only hampered by requests or information searches. Therefore, the sharing of knowledge in an organized network makes it possible to avoid the phenomenon of “corporate amnesia”, this inevitable consequence following the departure of an expert. Also, the profitability of a test data is strictly proportional to the number of tests performed to observe this result. The lack of knowledge sharing often forces companies to run the same test several times, without knowing that the data is already known by other departments.

In addition to this lack of knowledge sharing, it is important for a laboratory to be able to perpetuate the good practices to be implemented. One of the most common solutions is based on operational indicators such as the planning rate, response resources. Finally, it is also a plus that makes it possible to integrate the KPIs of subcontractors, which are used to optimize procurement and inventory management, for example. These good practices can be evaluated by following a validation workflow: simple, fast, formal and above all effective.

Willkommen in Bayern

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The BASSETTI group has opened its office in Munich, Germany.

As announced at the beginning of last year, the diversity of our customers is a source of wealth and encourages us to push back the boundaries. In this effort, we are continuing our international development by opening a new office in Munich!

By getting closer to its customers, BASSETTI offers a proximity work, in contact with local and global issues. The opening of this agency allows us to increase the reactivity of our project teams on site.

And not to mention the fact that the company’s development is progressing so well, with the opening of future branches in Europe and North America, in order to remain in touch with the development of new issues for our customers, particularly in the field of laboratory data management.

ISO 17025 standards: A required conformity!

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ISO 17025, entitled: «General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories», was updated in 2017. This revision, of the 2005 version, takes into account the evolution of technologies. This update incorporates technical developments, vocabulary and IT progress. The importance of compliance for laboratories is to have an international label to attest to the reliability of their results.

Developed by laboratory experts from around the world, the standard is updated to better meet the needs of the laboratories that use it. The primary purpose of harmonizing these practices is, of course, to facilitate international trade. Indeed, the installation of a single approved standard between laboratories in different countries of the world allows the recognition of test results without having to reproduce the test from one country to another. Thus, whatever the type of laboratories (universities, research centres, etc.) or the type of structures (regulatory bodies, inspection bodies, certification bodies, etc.), each of the players can benefit from a similar reference system.
So, what are the main changes to the new ISO 17025:2017 standard?

First of all, an extension of the scope of application, which now includes all laboratory activities.

Then, the process approach of the standard tends towards the conformity and homogenization of all ISO rules (9001, 17000, 15189…) so that it is the processing process itself that is evaluated rather than the description of the tasks that compose it. And similarly, risk-based reasoning brings the different ISO standards closer together in terms of commonalities.
In addition, the evolution in the processing of information and its electronic distribution, ISO 17025 enshrines the use of computer systems and guarantees the results of production, as well as the publication of reports.

https://www.iso.org/files/live/sites/isoorg/files/store/en/PUB100424.pdf

The differentiator of a research module in a test data management software package

The advantage of setting up an automatic system for generating results documents

  • Format the response to the requester
  • Integrate test data and all useful files (photo, graph…) into the report
  • Automatically forward the answer to the right people (mailing lists and confidentiality)
  • Alert requesters of the response
  • Archive past responses to search through the laboratory history
  • Document extraction module to automatically generate reports in the desired format (Word, PDF, Excel…)
  • Capitalization and document management within an integrated electronic document management system
  • Flexible workflow and alert and notification module (emails, dashboard) to distribute the response

The need for a complete interface of test data management software