DM Scientific, a rapidly growing contract analysis laboratory for the Animal Feed Industry, has replaced its largely manual sample tracking and reporting system based on a spreadsheet with the Matrix Express 'out of the box' LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) from Autoscribe. With previous experience of using Matrix Express ensuring an even faster than normal implementation the company has transformed its data management processes in the laboratory, saving both time and money.
DM Scientific Ltd is a family run UKAS accredited contract laboratory which provides quality nutritional analysis for the Animal Feed Industry. It conducts analytical service testing of a variety of feed and raw material samples from all around the UK and Europe. Testing is carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Food and Feed Regulations 2010 (SI2503/2010). The primary activities are proximates testing for MOPFA (Moisture. Oil (A) or (B). Protein. Fibre and Ash) and minerals testing using atomic absorption spectrophotometry for calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron and zinc and UV spectrometry for phosphorus. To further ensure the quality of analysis the company participates in the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) proficiency testing scheme which provides performance assessment for laboratory test results. Samples are shipped from AAFCO on a regular basis and are tested for analytes of interest. Results for individual analytes are reported back to AAFCO where they are analysed statistically allowing the company to obtain performance scores compared to other participating laboratories for each of the analytes and methods.
DM Scientific was set up in 2009 and the number of samples handled by the laboratory has risen dramatically from 1800 in the first year to 8000 in 2013. Sample management in the laboratory was initially handled through an Excel worksheet. The process involved the following stages:
- Create a paper copy
- Print the internal QC information
- Carry out the particular analysis and fill in the printed sheet
- Feed the information back into the worksheet and validate
- Copy and paste the results onto a master certificate for printing and sending to the customer
Not only was this process laborious, but it was also carried out solely by the Chief Analyst for all samples. The challenge was to introduce a LIMS system that could not only streamline the workflow, but also be used by all of the analysts, thus freeing up valuable time for the Chief Analyst.
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