In this third and final installment of an interview with Peter Boogaard, CEO of Industrial Lab Automation and host of Paperless Lab Academy in Barcelona, Spain on April 19th and 20th, we examine in more detail the reasons why eliminating paper based systems and replacing them with electronic systems like Labcore will allow organizations to innovate more quickly and leverage the data collected in the laboratory. We also examine the challenges of introducing change to scientists and the interesting evolution of how scientists and others in the laboratory eventually accept these changes in processes and new technology and never want to return to the old methods. Peter also answers the question – what is the Allotrope Framework?
Peter’s Boogaard’s focus on lab automation spans four decades and many generations of LIMS and Chromatography Data Handling Systems. He offers a unique perspective of how far laboratories have come in automating businesses processes and what is causing the laboratory market to lag behind other more automated and paperless industries. On April 19th and 20th Peter will be hosting Paperless Lab Academy in Barcelona, Spain. This years theme will focus on pragmatic strategies to effectively materialize laboratory knowledge in order to FIND the SPEED to INNOVATE in R&D and QC/QA Laboratories across the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, consumer goods and chemical industries. In my last post, the discussion focused on some of the benefits of lab automation and also reasons why the laboratory market has lagged behind other industries. In this post Peter’s shares his thoughts on what new technological innovations and methodologies are on the horizon which will optimize efficiency and reduce errors. Spoiler alert….adopting them will require a change in mindset within the laboratory industry.
Peter’s Boogaard’s focus on lab automation spans four decades and many generations of LIMS and Chromatography Data Handling Systems. He offers a unique perspective of how far laboratories have come in automating businesses processes and what is causing the laboratory market to lag behind other more automated and paperless industries. In the next couple of posts, I will feature our conversation which will provide some understanding of why it is so important for the laboratory market to let go of old paper-based processes and move towards automated computerized workflow solutions like Labcore as well as other new technological innovations on the horizon which are designed to optimize efficiency and reduce errors.
In my most recent conversation last week with Dr. Derhsing Luu, the President of DHL Analytical. he had commented after reading my blog, “Nice Blog. But you should emphasize what Labcore can do as it relates to time savings and efficiency. That is what made Labcore such a great investment for us. Paper cost savings is a bonus but consider that last year we increased our laboratory revenue by 25% with the same number of people. Labcore has made this possible.”
Given Poplar Solutions’ mission to improve laboratory productivity and efficiency by automating processes and reducing the environmental impact of business by eliminating paper-based processes (through our Labcore software), I am interested in the best practices and technological innovations that can help to achieve this. One recent technological innovation which caught my eye in a December issue of Gizmag, as something with the potential to create a major change, is one where chemists at the University of California, Riverside have created rewritable paper that can be printed on and erased many times over.
When I met with Lab Manager and Senior Chemist at DHL Analytical, Karyn Lane, several months ago at the laboratory in Round Rock Texas, I noticed immediately that she had the cleanest and most paper-free work environment I had ever seen. Given how many Level 4 data packages she and DHL Analytical assemble and deliver to customers every week, that is quite an impressive accomplishment. Karyn was pleased that I noticed and said things had come a long way since the implementation of Labcore and said that DHL was now 99% paperless. “Labcore is a cleaner, more organized way to manage a big workload”. She shared that “the only paper produced in the lab is a the COC (Chain of Custody), a 1 page Checklist and a Weight Report . These are scanned and manually identified as imported into Labcore.”
In Laboratory Equipment’s online magazine article from October 2014, entitled “Smart Infrastructure is Key for QA/QC”, the author, Trish Meeks, states how impressive it is to walk around in and see today’s laboratory technology and modern instrumentation executing science which is making our world a cleaner, healthier, safer place. She thoughtfully observes it seems inconsistent to see this “effort to ensure that we execute the best scientific process and use the most advanced equipment to create our scientific data, but we treat the data collected so archaically.
I was reading an article today that appeared in Scientific Computing on May 19, 2014 entitled, “Paperless Laboratories Do Better Science”. I have been reflecting on the content of this article as it relates to our Labcore customers now and over the years and thinking our experience reinforces some of the authors main points. This blog post specifically focuses on the importance of ‘change management’ when replacing ‘paper-based’ processes.
I recently spoke at length with John Dupont, General Manger at DHL Alalytical as well as the owner Dr. Luu and several key staff at this well respected and forward thinking analytical laboratory in Round Rock, Texas. Since they had been using Labcore for over two years, I felt it was a good idea to understand the impact the data package management and workflow automation software had on their operation. I found them all to be very candid and positive about the experience and I thought I would focus on some of what John Dupont said for my first blog post on our new website.