VIEWS: 35 PAGES: 3 CATEGORY: Medicine POSTED ON: 6/5/2010
Managing maintenance service and qualification of an array of manufacturers' laboratory equipment presented an ongoing challenge for the scientific team at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG. Previously, a fragmented approach to instrument service required the co-ordination of many different OEM service providers, resulting in instrument downtime that was affecting laboratory productivity.
ANALYTICAL & LABORATORY TECHNOLOGY doing more With less Many cost-cutting initiatives implemented by pharma R&D turn out to be ineffective and occasionally risky. By consolidating laboratory maintenance, L however, drug developers can improve laboratory productivity. aboratory equipment often represents outcomes passed down by senior management. These pharmaceutical companies’ largest usually fall into one of the following categories: capital investment. Unsurprisingly, the • Provide better control and reporting of maintenance costs associated with maintaining these expense and return on investment (ROI) for each laboratory assets and ensuring that they are laboratory asset. performing to specification (critical for GxP laboratory • Achieve cost savings targets. environments) frequently consumes significant portions • Improve laboratory productivity and efficiency. of a laboratory’s operating budget. These costs represent • Reduce compliance costs in areas subject to regulatory a significant opportunity for savings and pharmaceutical control. companies are increasingly turning to new methods to Once these have been agreed, another set of key understand, control, and reduce equipment maintenance questions must be asked to help build the specification and regulatory compliance costs. of the solution required: • How important is it to retain the original equipment Defining Service Requirements manufacturer (OEM) as service provider? In laboratory environments with more than 100 instrument • Do the benefits (lower cost, improved uptime) of using systems, the cost of equipment maintenance can exceed an alternative service provider outweigh the potential $1 million a year. In light of these costs and in today’s pitfalls (quality, scientist acceptance)? climate, reducing and controlling maintenance expenditures • Do the added benefits (service event management, represents a clear opportunity. Significant improvements reduced scientist time with noncore activities, asset and in equipment uptime and scientist productivity can be service provider performance reporting) of a centralized realized through consolidating laboratory service activities maintenance management centre outweigh the potential with a single service provider. It is important to understand pitfalls (change management, reduced contact between the delicate balance between a pure cost-savings initiative scientist and OEM)? that could potentially adversely impact the science of drug The answers to these questions will define the boundaries discovery and a well-developed maintenance programme of the consolidated maintenance programme and will vary that achieves cost savings and supports other important from company to company based on culture, history and business goals.
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