Lab Scheduling with ORSOFT: The 360-degree view on your laboratory capacities and their holistic planning

Lab Scheduling

Goodbye to Excel: Schedule your labs as a synchronised digital twin interfacing between LIMS and production planning

With the aim of ensuring stable supply chains and an excellent customer service, optimisation processes are often focused primarily on production planning. Unfortunately, it is very much ignored, that supply chain management should include the planning of the entire logistics chain from production to quality control.

Standard ERP systems centre on production and usually only allow very limited capacity planning for quality inspections. A medium- to long-term forecast of upcoming capacity requirements is often not offered at all. Scheduling laboratory activities is thus often based on Excel or other planning tools that are isolated from the central ERP.

Major obstacles and pitfalls of the traditional process approach

The conventional approach leads to a double-break of system discontinuity: On the process level, lab and production capacity planning is processed on different systems. For quality control, a laboratory information management system (LIMS) is often used, which is indeed is another, non-integrated process system. As a consequence,

  • multiple systems with asynchronous data access may result in data breaks,
  • providing lab planning with the data from production and the analytical laboratory may become subject to significant extra or additional costs, and
  • often inaccurate and inefficient laboratory planning may occur as it cannot work with the most up-to-date production data.

Modelling the digital lab twin: Simultaneous laboratory and production planning with ORSOFT LabScheduling

By using ORSOFT LabScheduling, laboratory planning is integrated into a company’s production planning and quality control process. Thus, the lab scheduling software obtains all relevant (real-time) data through an interface to the ERP system (certified SAP interface) and any LIMS, and stores the data in a common database.

A common data availability allows for booth, process-related integration and a temporal-planning alignment of lab scheduling with production planning. The planning of inspection lots (as a bottleneck within the production process) has thus the same planning horizon as the production planning itself and is additionally updated providing the most current information from the LIMS.

ORSOFT LabScheduling as innovative SAP application

In addition to the on-premise versions of LabScheduling, ORSOFT offers a “side-by-side extension” to a S/4HANA cloud system (SAP cloud platform). The extension can be used without on-site installation and is offered as a certified app in the SAP App Center.

As with the on-premise solution, the LabScheduling app allows to extend inspection lots from SAP QM with simulated ones generated by ORSOFT LabScheduling. This enables a planning-related consideration of future capacity requirements.

Advantages of using ORSOFT LabScheduling: Planning and monitoring laboratories without functional gaps and system breaks

Certified open-interface planning solution

ORSOFT LabScheduling is certified for use with SAP ERP / SAP S/4HANA (modules PP, PP-PI and QM). Linkage to LIMS such as QDA SOLUTIONS LIMS or LabWare is also guaranteed. Customer-specific adaptations of the interface connection are also possible

Integrating laboratory planning into supply chain management

Laboratory planning becomes part of an integrated planning process from production planning fed by the ERP to the execution of quality controls in LIMS. Capacity analysis, capacity planning and detailed planning are supported, and the results of the LIMS are processed

Planning based on real-time data

Real-time synchronisation in one database enables access to current data from all connected systems

Integration into horizontal and vertical planning levels without any system breaks

Central data management allows to include capacities, material flows or personnel requirements of laboratory planning in all relevant planning runs

Long-, medium- and short-term capacity preview of the laboratories through simulated test lots

In order to identify and eliminate capacity bottlenecks at a very early stage, simulated (predictive) inspection lots can be created based on centrally saved ERP master and transaction data. Changes are simulated in ORSOFT LabScheduling, with the effects immediately shown in the lab scheduling software, and transferred to the shared and synchronised database if required

Utilisation control of laboratory capacities

Overloads can be efficiently reduced by rescheduling individual or several inspection lots at the same time

Planning horizon of laboratory planning analogous to that of production planning

This allows precise capacity forecasting and early identification of capacity bottlenecks at laboratory levels. Based on real-time data processing, it is possible to react flexibly to changing business events and to carry out agile short-term planning of the laboratories

Planning transparency across all planning levels

Laboratory planning is mapped to the entire business process of supply chain management (SCM) and considered along the long-, medium- and short-term planning horizon

Get in touch with ORSOFT

Dr. Martin Kohl
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