As a Field Applications Engineer, Anne Sefried leverages her application expertise at BIOVIA to assist organizations in optimizing their chemical inventory management activities. Anne graduated from Chapman University with a B.S. in Computer Information Systems.
1. What are you looking forward to discussing with the audience?
We are looking forward to showing how chemical inventory management doesn’t have to be a manual, disparate, time consuming process. In fact, it can be just the opposite! By integrating with laboratory informatics systems, such as Electronic Laboratory Notebooks, you have a comprehensive chemical inventory which improves productivity, drives down costs and reduces chemical management safety and compliance risks like FDA 21 CFR Part 11. In addition, you will be able avoid business risks arising from chemical safety incidents.
2. What are some of the key challenges with chemical inventory and data management?
Managing the materials necessary for research isn’t something the researchers want to do. They just want the materials they need at their bench when it is time to run an experiment. So the biggest challenge is getting everyone in the lab to use a system that tracks chemical inventory by logging materials in and out of the system each and every time. Most organizations aren’t doing this very well. They still track chemical inventory on paper, with a basic spreadsheet program, or with a legacy in-house solution. These systems are typically inefficient, awkward to use and rarely provide real-time data so the researchers don’t use them consistently. The result is incorrect inventory data, which not only means that the lab can’t rely on the system to ensure that materials are available but also bears compliance risks. In addition it adds error-prone and time consuming steps to the laboratory workflow reducing its efficiency and productivity and again adds compliance risk. Without accurate chemical inventory information, the organization is caught up in a vicious cycle of under- or over-ordering chemicals, which means they can’t manage chemical costs efficiently. For Life Science organizations where chemical and biological materials expenditures can be massive, particularly if expired materials are disposed before use. And the problem gets worse: without tightly controlling the chemicals inventory, health and safety risks for the lab staff can increase dramatically. So you can see why it is important to get your chemical inventory under control.
3. What can be done to tackle some of those challenges and make processes more streamlined and efficient?
Simply knowing what chemical inventory is on hand and where it is, eliminates a lot of management headaches and regulatory risk. This can be accomplished with a centralized and integrated chemical inventory management system, like BIOVIA CISPro. Supported by barcode technology, it provides accurate, real-time chemical container data that is integrated with Safety Data Sheet (SDS) management and addresses regulatory requirements for chemical management from authorities like the FDA, EMA and EPA. The tight integration with other lab informatics solutions further drives out error-prone and non-value added steps from the overall process.
4. What attributes should you look for when choosing a chemical inventory system for your lab?
There are three important attributes or operational modes to look for when evaluating a chemical inventory system. The first is the ability to track material level information that identifies physical hazards and structures. The second is barcoding. The barcodes should track the container by owner, location, expiration date, etc. and provide an audit trail to support regulatory compliance. Thus, you’ll be looking for a system that streamlines chemical inventory workflows from receipt to disposal, and the most effective way to do this is with a barcode system that logs all incoming materials at the container level. And the third is the integration capabilities with the laboratory by interfacing with a Lab informatics systems like ELN (Electronic Lab Notebook), LES (Laboratory Execution System) or LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) for automated transfer of information related to the chemical inventory.
Join us for our complimentary webinar on December 10 titled: 4 Reasons to Integrate Chemical Inventory Management into Your Lab, hosted by Business Review, where we will discuss the above in more detail, with much more. Register here.