APPLICATIONS NEWS

Rental LIMS boosts food testing company productivity

30 July 2008

Rental LIMS boosts food testing company productivity


QTS Analytical, of East Malling, Kent, UK, a contract laboratory that measures pesticide residues in fruit, vegetables and other foodstuffs, is utilising QSI’s WinLims Rental solution to boost efficiency and improve accuracy of its laboratory information management procedures.

QTS Analytical’s contract laboratory service, which is aimed at organisations throughout the fruit and vegetable supply chain - growers, wholesalers and retailers - tests for pesticides in a variety of areas including fresh produce, soils, water and environmental analysis. Potential QTS customers include any company importing or growing fruit and vegetables.

The QTS laboratory has UKAS accreditation for its pesticide residue analysis, covering a wide range of pesticides in fruit, vegetables and tea leaves. The company also participates in the internationally-recognised FAPAS proficiency scheme.

Fast turnaround times are vital for most contract laboratories and QTS is no exception. Although the standard turnaround time for QTS is five days, the company also offers a 12-hour emergency turnaround on residue testing.

To achieve such demanding turn-around targets, speed and accuracy of reporting are crucial factors that have been greatly improved with the advent of the WinLims Rental package. Before the QSI solution was introduced the largely manual reporting process was a major bottleneck. At peak times, staff sometimes had to work unsocial hours to keep up, and the administrative load also introduced invoicing delays.

'We have benefited considerably from WinLims Rental’s reporting capabilities,' said QTS Analytical's founder Steve Gardner. 'Our reports vary greatly in format dependent on the type of testing being carried out for each customer. WinLims was able to cater for this requirement straight from the box and as such has made significant time savings, seven hours per week if not more. We typically generate 500 to 600 reports a month. With WinLims it is all now done automatically. We simply select the type of report, and based on the type of commodity, the system prints out the report. We also now have the added benefit that it simplifies trend analysis.'

Based on the WinLims Rental system, QTS has recently set up a remote sample booking system via the company’s website. The new remote facility gives QTS customers the option to directly feed sample data into the company’s WinLims system. QTS is also in the process of setting up the facility to automatically generate invoices using the WinLims system.

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Quality Systems International