“Lean Methodologies” Revolutionize Pharma Quality Control Labs

Posted on Lab Compliance. 19 April, 2021

The pharmaceutical quality control (QC) laboratory serves one of the most vital functions in pharmaceutical production for both in-process and finished product testing and control. The QC lab is responsible for monitoring the quality of raw materials and supplies used in the manufacturing process as well as batch release process control. A common concern for all QC laboratory environments is the amount of manual processes that exist within the workflow, leading to the inefficient utilization of resources, decreased reliability, and ultimately reducing time to market.

Lean Methodologies have long been used in industry to improve process flows and to drive increased efficiency. This approach has typically not been applied to the same extent in the laboratory due to the increased complexity and lack of applicable tools. Incorporating lean principles into the QC laboratory workflow will lead to overall process improvement and has the potential to significantly transform your operations into the digital lab of the future.

PlanDomino, recently named as one of the 100 Hot Start Ups by the Sunday Business Post, addresses this complexity by incorporating the established principles of Lean Management to laboratory workflows and providing a unique and compelling, cloud-based interface for the management of resources and tasks.

Lean Management Enables the Digital Lab of the Future

PlanDomino is revolutionizing quality control laboratories with its unique digital lab resource scheduler and capacity management platform, designed to efficiently allocate resources and manage testing workflow. This next-generation laboratory scheduling software solution is an enabler of the Lab of the Future, driving more predictable and efficient job tracking with increased visibility and automated performance metrics.

The Lean concepts applied through the PlanDomino solution are described here:

  • Levelling: Apply levelling techniques to effectively manage the variability of incoming workloads resulting in a more productive and less stressful working environment.
  • Flow: Create standardized workflows to reduce test cycle times and work in progress to achieve an optimized sample and test management system.
  • Standard Work: Gain control over available resources, improve test repeatability and reduce on-boarding time by standardizing routine work in the laboratory, including non-test activity.
  • Visual Management: Improve management of issues, investigations, resources and overall communication through visual representation of the entire workflow.
  • Continuous Improvement: Improve efficiency and reduce waste by balancing the production line through one-piece flow lean methodology.

Adopting these lean management principles within your QC laboratory operations will offer significant improvements in efficiency, quality and cycle time. .

Transform Decision Making with New Data

Data driven decision making is the ultimate goal of any successful digital transformation strategy. Ongoing monitoring of key indicators provides early visibility of potential issues within the overall workflow. Through digital transformation initiatives, the automation of your laboratory processes establishes the framework for the systematic monitoring of performance metrics. With PlanDomino, previously unavailable data now becomes accessible for real-time visualization and analysis. This step-change will allow for improved data visualization to gain the following efficiencies throughout your workflow:

Current Procedures and Limitation

  • Difficult & Time Consuming to Measure
  • Static Boards with Limited Information
  • Expert Advice Required to Sustain Operations

Improved Process with PlanDomino Solution

  • Automated Real-time & Historical Metrics
  • Digital Display Harmonized Across Teams
  • System Encourages & Supports Continuous Improvement

The PlanDomino dashboard views provide clear, actionable displays to monitor laboratory performance, while utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) and Data Science tools to facilitate lab automation and real-time monitoring across your operations.

Conclusion

Attaining the lab of the future requires a focus beyond what is prescribed by traditional digital transformation protocols. The elimination of manual processes, while automating laboratory operations and standardizing data repositories is of fundamental importance in the overall digital strategy. The real step-change for the manufacturing QC laboratory occurs through the adoption of lean management practices and tools layered within this digitally transformed environment. PlanDomino provides the gateway to enabling the digital laboratory of the future by driving more predictable and efficient job tracking with increased visibility across your operations and automated, real-time performance metrics for quality decision based science.

Why It Matters for You

The quality control laboratory provides one of the most important functions within the pharmaceutical company. The successful digital strategy for the QC environment will gain significant operational efficiency through the incorporation of lean management practices and tools. The benefits of this approach include:

  • Levelling the flow and workloads across teams and labs automatically manages the ups and downs of workload variability. Priorities are automatically updated as the environment changes. Adjusting your schedule is made easy with the PlanDomino user interface and workflow manager.
  • Establishing flowed testing paths throughout the lab offer the quickest path to completion, resulting in shorter cycle times, while avoiding disruptions, delays and elevated volumes of WIP.
  • Improve informed data driven decision making capabilities through automated access to a multitude of performance data delivered real-time to customized dashboards.
  • Drive continuous improvement through PlanDomino’s analysis of your workflow and process data, resulting in the recommendation of where you should concentrate efforts to provide the maximum benefit for your operations.

About Astrix

Astrix partners with many of the industry leaders in the informatics space to offer state of the art solutions for all of your laboratory informatics needs. With over 25 years of industry proven experience, Astrix has the informatics specialists and business process analysis tools required to develop and implement the solution that works best for your enterprise. Our domain experts have helped hundreds of companies globally effectively navigate their digital transformation journey, connecting people, processes and systems to accelerate the advancement of science and medicine.

A Selection of Current Customers