Improving the Efficiency of Food Laboratory Operations

Food Safety Net Services is a network of ISO/IES 17025: 2005 accredited laboratories which supplies a large scope of microbiological testing and analytical services for the food & beverage industry.

Testing involves routine and non-routine qualitative and quantitative analysis following validated and standardized techniques such as USDA, AOCS, AOAC, FDA, USP, ASTA, to name a few.

FSNS also supplies a variety of auditing services, which synergistically enhance the effectiveness of food safety and quality programs, in addition to the comprehensive set of laboratory testing services.

FSNS helps companies to make sure that their food safety and quality programs generate the vital information they require to continually enhance their measurement systems and process controls. They help organizations to meet and develop effective contingency planning in accordance with governmental regulatory requirements.

Key Challenges

FSNS struggled with a heavily customized, outdated LIMS, which was difficult to upgrade as it was based on older technology. The legacy system could not satisfy FSNS’ growing demand for a robust solution with a thin client or browser-based access. FSNS also needed an intuitive and simple to utilize interface, for their expanding user base as they continued their business growth.

FSNS required a flexible solution which supported regular customer audits. It was vital for them to be able to connect LIMS to sophisticated lab instruments for automated data capture and end manual data entry. An outdated system hindered efficiency at FSNS severely.

System Sought

FSNS were looking for a dynamic, modern, flexible and fully browser-based solution with the capability to support common food testing sample types, which was able to be configured and associated with numerous tests.

A key requirement was a common browser-based interface for all users. To meet the expanding business needs, superior system performance was also vital. FSNS needed to connect with simple lab equipment (e.g. digital scales) and bi-directional interface with complex /computer-controlled equipment.

The system was also required to interface with other systems such as SharePoint, Great Plains Accounting Software, and customer systems. Finally, it was vital for FSNS to implement a customer portal to supply their world-class service and live access to data to meet their customers’ expectations.

LabVantage offered a dynamic, configurable and modern sitemap for single-click access.

LabVantage offered a dynamic, configurable and modern sitemap for single-click access.

Successful System Implementation

Since May 31, 2002, LabVantage has been operational at Food Safety Net Services. FSNS selected the LabVantage LIMS solution for enterprise deployment based on assessments of around 100 LIMS vendors, as it provided the best value considering system flexibility, ongoing system maintenance costs, up-front price, responsiveness, and the ability to handle emerging and complex business requirements.

LabVantage helped FSNS by providing flexible sample types to eliminate test assignment mistakes, a single browser-based user interface, and quicker operating speed. They have seen huge improvements in numerous areas of their overall lab processes.

Having the means to standardize custom sample types over numerous locations speeds up login data processing times by around 15%. The page refresh with LabVantage is around 50% quicker than their legacy system, which meant user satisfaction increased. The data entry time significantly decreased by about 15% due to having the choice to enter numerous sample data on the same screen.

FSNS could leverage the flexible LabVantage platform and configure the solution to meet their changing business requirements, instead of trying to work with a rigid, complicated, and customized system, which made future upgrades problematic.

The system gives easy access to more than 50 concurrent FSNS users without any compromise in performance to ensure smooth operational efficiency.

For traceability and audit purposes, it also supplies the necessary audit trail. FSNS is committed to expand their employment of LabVantage and is on target to implement a LabVantage client portal to cater to hundreds of their customers.

Looking to the Future

FSNS is dedicated to utilizing LabVantage in their existing labs, plus any future labs. They plan to grow the utilization of extra features like label printing, test batching, e-submissions, and a dedicated client portal.

FSNS recommends LabVantage for their leadership and expertise in the LIMS industry. LabVantage supplied FSNS with the capacity to alter numerous samples and their associated details on one screen.

LabVantage provided FSNS the ability to modify multiple samples and their associated details on a single screen.

LabVantage provided FSNS the ability to modify multiple samples and their associated details on a single screen.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by LabVantage Solutions, Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit LabVantage Solutions, Inc.

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