NEWS

How do you want your QC lab rocket to fly?

4 April 2022
Information Technology
BioPhorum

Quality control (QC) labs play a key role in biopharmaceutical companies to ensure product quality and patient safety. However, they have yet to achieve full digital maturity and there are areas where cost, speed, and flexibility improvements are needed.

Many QC labs have started their journey to digital maturity, but the multitude of instruments often leads to a complex and fragile IT setup, which is too costly to upgrade and cannot take advantage of the latest innovations. Moreover, it has not always been clear what next steps are needed to overcome these barriers. One of the main reasons is that the benefits of progressively sophisticated lab instrument integration have not been clearly stated.

A new BioPhorum paper meets this challenge and starts the conversation about the benefits of integration, why it is needed, how it can be done in stages, and how it can bring about changes that reap business benefits.

The benefits of progressively more sophisticated lab instrument integration in the quality control labs captures the benefits from different stakeholders’ viewpoints. It outlines a common understanding of the benefits to help communicate with decision-makers and general audiences, convince them of the need for change, and help prioritize change.

How to justify your digitization projects

The paper is a decision-support tool, aiding senior stakeholders to determine funding levels for QC lab innovation based on clear benefits. Its focus will help justify digitization projects by building the business case for investment and ensure that IT-specific improvements are only authorized once the benefits to the whole organization are clear to QC and IT management and beyond.

It will also help lab managers and others understand how IT solutions can enable business change, influence their priorities, and resource allocations. Finally, it will help them build a roadmap to travel from their current ways of working to an ideal future state. The technology is not explained in detail, but the business changes are spelled out to resonate with the full range of stakeholders without requiring detailed IT knowledge.

Different stakeholders must act together for the QC lab industry to move forward. So, this paper will help all decision-makers to understand the benefits of lab instrument integration in terms of their business objectives – from senior management and QC lab managers to equipment and integration vendors. For example, senior management will see why they should commit resources, how making standardized integration part of new lab solutions is worth the investment, and how it will help deliver strategic change to the business.

Increasing the capabilities of lab instrument integration is like launching a rocket. A single-stage rocket cannot reach orbital speed, and the vehicle must lose weight by shedding the boosters to reach its final speed and height. Similarly, the architecture of QC labs must become simpler by removing customizations and be more streamlined by standardization to enable the full integration benefits of control and interoperability.

How do you want your QC lab rocket to fly?

This project is part of BioPhorum’s Lab of the Future Workstream, which is a collaboration between leading biopharmaceutical manufacturers, lab equipment and software vendors to bring about a shared vision for digital technology – this will form the basis of the QC lab of the future. For more information on the Lab of the Future mission and membership, visit here.

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