Issues faced by clients can be complex and are often interconnected. Here are some typical problems that we at FKP have addressed:
Analysts typically focus on test accuracy and individual test run efficiency. As personnel are dedicated to specific tests, there may be little or no control of the progress of individual samples through a sometimes highly complex and variable process.
In many laboratories, it is normal to find queues in front of each test where individual samples wait until enough similar samples arrive to constitute an 'efficient test run'. This approach can cause long and variable turn around times and does not always result in higher productivity.
'Rush' systems are often developed in an effort to deal with urgent samples but these often become unworkable. Frequently, the proportion of samples designated as ‘priority’ becomes so large that fast tracking quickly becomes ineffective.
Laboratories often maintain high levels of WIP which inevitably results in using lots of effort to control, track and prioritize samples.
Laboratories can respond with investment in a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) or a similar IT system. However these systems can only help if the underlying process by which work is organized and moves through the laboratory, is re-engineered for optimal efficiency.
For many testing laboratories the incoming workload content and rate of submission is highly variable. This can cause low productivity (during dips) and/or poor lead time performance (during peaks). If laboratory capacity is neither known nor managed and workloads are not smoothed out backlogs may occur.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, look at Analysis.