Specifically, Gatekeeper automates and manages a number of operational processes that must take place whenever a new chemical is to be brought into a company. Once such an item is purchased, other Gatekeeper features help with inventory management and product lifecycle management.
Gatekeeper has applications in several life science company operational areas, including R&D labs and manufacturing. For instance, Gatekeeper can be used to support the purchase and approval of chemicals and reagents used in drug discovery research. And it can also help oversee the tracking and ordering of chemical components that go into a formulated drug produced in a pharmaceutical company manufacturing plant.
In either situation, when a new chemical is requested, Gatekeeper checks the chemical against an Actio library of government and health and safety lists. Gatekeeper will determine if the chemical is hazardous, a carcinogen, a hazardous air pollutant, has any ingredients that require reporting, or is banned from a company site.
Once this screening is completed, Gatekeeper uses what Actio calls a decision matrix to route a purchase request to all people in a company (e.g., safety officers, department managers, compliance officers, etc.) who must review and okay the request. Gatekeeper also keeps track of prior approvals.
“Many companies use a paper-based system for approving chemicals before bringing them on-site,” says Russ McCann, Actio's president, CEO, and co-founder. Gatekeeper is designed to speed up and automate this process via a Web-based approach to managing approval procedures.
McCann notes that Actio customers “have requested an expert system that manages all aspects of the chemical lifecycle.” To accomplish such end-to-end management, the Gatekeeper module works in conjunction with the Actio CMS (chemical management solution). For example, while a request is being routed for approval in Gatekeeper, the CMS system searches a database for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the chemical. The CMS system collects the relevant MSDS documents and places them into what Actio calls an MSDS Vault.
Gatekeeper and Actio CMS are offered as ASP (application service provider) solutions. Essentially, the applications are hosted by Actio and users access them over the Web through a browser. Gatekeeper is an opt-in service for Actio CMS users.