With increasingly fast-paced competition to innovate in life science industries, constantly improving laboratory operations is not just a good idea, it is a necessity.
Organizations that aim to increase market share, lower costs, mitigate risks, and improve operations to ensure they meet and exceed their expectations are looking to automation for operational efficiencies.
Many life science companies place immense efforts on improving quality and compliance. One of the major challenges is that common, or more traditional, practices for managing quality and compliance data are becoming outdated, especially with emerging technologies and an increased push towards digital transformation.
When provided with the proper solutions, automated reporting operations can be much easier than in the past, and organizations that implement solutions will see many benefits. Understanding these benefits—and potential challenges—will ensure the multiple departments involved have support for utilizing automated reporting in a laboratory environment.
1) Accurate, Reliable Data
Data that is accurate and reliable is one of the key benefits to automated reporting and it can serve as a foundation for laboratory operations. When data is inaccurate and unreliable, organizations are left with challenges, confusion, and disgruntled employees. One of the most practical options for generating data that is accurate and reliable is to implement solutions that facilitate automated reporting.
Implementing such solutions for overall laboratory conditions and operations provides increased oversight, knowing that important tasks are not forgotten and data is secured. Organizations benefit immensely if the right data is delivered at the right time, all reporting runs successfully, data is input correctly, and customized reporting for internal or external audits is generated appropriately.
Robust software solutions that handle complex reporting tasks improve overall efficiencies for laboratory operations and conditions. A key benefit with implementing automation systems is that operations and laboratory personnel are relieved from having to work on time-consuming reporting functions. This effectively eliminates hours of tedious and difficult manual reporting tasks.
Life science organizations require the acquisition and processing of vast amounts of data and it is often difficult to derive valuable insights from this data, especially with manual reporting processes. With an automated reporting system in place, data is readily available and provides organizations the ability to report on myriad aspects within the system, create a variety of graphs, and access real-time information. These benefits enable end-users to view data holistically and derive insights for improvements quickly and efficiently.
2) Increase Productivity
When life science organization’s technological demands increase, productivity can become an issue. An estimated eight hours a week for facilities and operations personnel is lost due to unnecessary data acquisition and management. Improving operational efficiencies through automation can resolve these issues. Time and money is saved by decreasing an employee’s time spent manually recording and reporting data. Automated reporting also minimizes the necessity for operator intervention on specific facility conditions and equipment. In most cases, multiple hours a day are saved, which allows for employees to focus their time on processing other important tasks and improve overall systems usage.
Implementing automated reporting systems for monitoring laboratory facility and equipment conditions has shown to save facilities and operations employees at least one full day of work per week.
Consider the impact of instant, real-time access to crucial reports on facility and equipment conditions for quality and compliance. Quality managers are able to focus on analysis and effective decision-making rather than worrying about system maintenance and repair. Having a fully automated and integrated system enables consistent comparison of multi-site operations and is another added value to improve overall operations.
3) Streamline Quality & Compliance
Automated reporting for laboratory monitoring is becoming necessary for many life science organizations. Time is always a factor with the ever-increasing need for speed to market. Organizations require solutions with ease of management, and the ability to track quality and compliance more effectively for a variety of operational processes. Automated reporting processes for lab monitoring results in more standardized, consistent processes and improves standard operating procedures (SOPs). This allows employees to focus more on important science-based tasks and overall success of an organization.
Previous methods for manually inputting and analyzing quality and compliance data are already antiquated. There are a plethora of technologies on the market that enable easier data acquisition and management. Facilities and operations managers that leverage technology for data acquisition and management processes are able to focus their time planning for future growth and innovation.
If an employee spends a majority of their time compiling data, ensuring accuracy, and generating manual reports, there is very little time left to leverage any insights that might be derived from this data. Utilizing automated reporting technology allows for increased capacity with quality and compliance data management. Solutions for lab facility and equipment monitoring that incorporate these reporting features can analyze all types of data and create visual, graphical and numerical reports instantly for key decision makers and stakeholders. Quality and compliance managers are able to see increased results in less time. Automated reporting for lab monitoring is primarily about moving from reactive data acquisition and management, to proactive data optimization. Any organization that utilizes these reporting processes will gain a competitive advantage.
Choosing a Solution
Deciding on the right solution for your organization is difficult and choosing a system that is truly flexible to fit into each unique operational requirement is a challenging process. Flexibility with a solution and capabilities for customization of workflows, data fields, form fills, reports, rules, and user access are all important areas to consider. The overall user interface is also a very important aspect for keeping end-users satisfied with the system. Focusing attention on a solution’s flexibility and design is a critical part of the decision-making process.
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