Invistics Takeaways from the NCLSI Conference

July 28, 2016

Invistics Takeaways from the NCLSI Conference

Invistics CEO & Founder Tom Knight presented at the 2016 NCSLI Conference on how to use LEAN methods to improve efficiency and reduce waste in labs.

This week, Tom Knight, Invistics CEO and Founder, was invited to co-present at the annual National Conference of Standards Laboratories International (NCSLI) Annual Conference, held in St. Paul Minnesota. Tom presented a workshop called “Applying LEAN in a Laboratory Environment”, along with Dean Williams, the manager of the Duke Energy Standards Laboratory. Participants included representatives from laboratories in a wide variety of industries, including Pharmaceuticals, Aerospace, Utilities, Manufacturing, and Medical Devices.

This diverse group’s common interest included: how to use LEAN methods to improve efficiencies and reduce waste in laboratories, particularly in “high-mix” laboratories that handle a wide variety of complex testing methods. The workshop included many best practices and examples from labs that Tom and Dean have worked with, as well as hands-on exercises to reinforce these LEAN tools and techniques.

Of particular interest were software solutions Invistics has developed to help laboratories in two areas:

Improving visibility of operations within a laboratory or testing facility, to improve flow and provide clear oversight of the “heath” and efficiencies of the lab’s operations. For example, pharmaceutical laboratories often struggle with lengthy sample testing times, or with disconnected computer systems that lack the ability to flag when operations are not efficient or if tests are not completing on time. The Invistics software provides visibility by consolidating data from a variety of sources, such as Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS), Asset Management Systems (AMS), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system such as SAP or Oracle. The software can even be used to replace paper-based records or home-grown tools built in Excel or Access.

Advanced analytics to optimize inventory levels. During the workshop, numerous calibration labs stated their workload can explode and their lab operations suffer when excessive inventories of instruments or tooling require calibration. They expressed a common interest in mathematical tools to optimize inventory levels to avoid these problems. The Invistics software provides those analytics, allowing them to use math and analytics to prove where tools and other testing equipment can be eliminated.

Invistics specializes in these two areas: inventory visibility and analytics. (In fact, our name means inventory visibility and analytics.) We were delighted to have led this workshop, and to bring all these labs together to discuss their common needs and LEAN best practices to address them.

If you are interested in learning more about these software solutions, please contact us.

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