Investing in our future
by Neal Salerno, President, Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories
As one of the top testing labs in theworld, we strive to be of value to clients by having a world class operation. In order to respond to the challenging needs of our clients, as well as create an organization that will thrive for years to come, we must invest in our people, infrastructure, equipment, IT and service offerings. Over the years, we’ve made significant investments in these areas and have much planned for the future, including:
Investment in Infrastructure
None of us can do our job without the right infrastructure. That is why we continue to invest in Lancaster. In fact, the largest infrastructure investment among Eurofins’ 400 global sites currently is right here with our largest building expansion in our history at five stories and 168,000 square feet. This is on schedule to be completed December 2018 and will create 350 new jobs.
Further, our new state-of-the-art Stability Building became operational this year at 17,000 square feet and a total of 80,000 cubic feet of storage in 80 chambers, differentiating us in the market and ensuring our success for years to come.
Our investment isn’t limited to new buildings. We have spent significantly on updating and renovating space, refreshing labs and converting old lab space into modern office spaces.
Investment in IT Systems
To keep up with our rapid growth, we will make significant investments in our IT infrastructure through 2018. We’ll continue to invest in the IT infrastructure to have a network that matches our growing needs.
Even our primary operating software is going through a major transformation and investment. Over the coming months we will deploy three major new systems: eLIMS, CRM, and ComLIMS. Developed in house for our specific needs, eLIMS-BPT will replace Nautilus and be the foundation for how we do business in the future. Our new CRM will help us improve our customer interaction and better track opportunities. ComLIMS is the Eurofins quotation application which will replace the current quoting functionality of Nautilus and improve the quotation process.
All Eurofins BioPharma Product Testing labs will work within the same systems, driving standardization and implementation of best practices across all labs in order to provide seamless inter-company testing. In early 2017, Lancaster formed a deployment team to develop training materials and coordinate efforts to implement eLIMS-BPT and the supporting systems. We began deployment efforts on live samples in early November 2017 and will continue to ramp up usage of the new systems through 2018.
Investment in Data Integrity
To ensure our quality data program meets clients’ global regulatory requirements, we take rigorous steps and invest heavily to reach our quality metrics standards, including our Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELN) system. Of paramount importance, ELN provides a harmonized process for recording and reviewing of analytical data. ELN offers an opportunity to increase compliance, ensure consistency from experiment to experiment, and reduce the time needed for entry, review and approval of experiments. In 2017, we made tremendous strides in increasing usage of the ELN software through template creation. Next year, the ELN team will continue to create new templates and enhance existing templates to further grow our usage of the software and streamline testing processes across laboratories. You can read more in depth details on our ELN progress on page 6.
Investment in State-of-the-art-equipment
On top of all the new systems going in, several new instruments were added this year, including a new high-end Orbitrap with ETD, our most advanced, sophisticated LC/MS; a new NanoLC, an HPLC that will interface with our Orbitrap and allow us to analyze proteins at very low levels, as well as expand our capabilities to study Host Cell Proteins (HCPs) by mass spec; additional Protein Simple MFI and Sciex LC/MS/MS instruments to increase capacity; a new Agilent QTOF used for peptide and mRNA work; an ICP/MS dedicated to E&L work; as well new FACs, AKTAs, Sequencer to name a few.
Investment in new Service Offerings
Not only will the new equipment add additional service offerings, but we’ve also made investment in new capabilities offerings. Our newest service offering is the Medical Device business, and with our advanced Package Testing facility, Micro Sterility Suites, and Container Closure Integrity Testing offering, we will have one of the most comprehensive offerings in the market place. We also added a new Molecular Lab, and we are rapidly growing our list of qPCR assays.
Investment in People
Eurofins Lancaster Labs has a long history of putting people first. It is a tradition that is vital to our success and it is personally rewarding to see people reach their full potential. Through rigorous Leadership, Lean, Soft Skills, and Technical training programs, we have invested in the tools for every employee to achieve and oftentimes surpass their development goals.
Critical to our success is our ability to improve our operations and reduce the daily challenges team members have. Our Lean program is the primary way we strive to make these necessary improvements. With more than 100 trained in Lean this past year, our LEAN training effort continues to gain momentum moving us closer to our organizational performance improvement objectives.
An exciting byproduct of all the great developments occurring here in Lancaster is our expanding global collaboration and harmonization with several BioPharma Product Testing and PSS sites in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
We’re doing a lot to create an excellent work environment and develop our people to get them to where they want to be in their careers and set them up for success to ultimately deliver world-class service to our clients for years to come.