QA/QC Insight: Integrating the lab with SAP®, Part 2

In Part One of this series, I talked about how a simple, direct integration between the laboratory and SAP® can be a cost effective solution for automating the transfer of test results from laboratory instruments to SAP/SAP QM (Quality Management). If that integration is also able to perform additional processing on the data it can eliminate the cost and effort required to implement laboratory specific calculations and processing in SAP.

In Part Two, I’d like to consider a fuller integration between SAP and the laboratory and see how it can open up opportunities to enhance laboratory processes by adding new levels of automation and control at the bench level.

Fuller Integration to the Lab Bench Level

This approach supplements the functionality of SAP with a Laboratory Execution System (LES) that provides the lab with bench level automation, control and documentation of their day-to-day test execution. For laboratories that haven’t already implemented a LIMS or are considering changing their LIMS, this can be the solution that delivers the best value in terms of operational efficiency and productivity.

An LES provides a structured platform that eliminates paper while automating and controlling testing procedures at the bench level. Sample information, test execution, inventory control and instrument calibration can all be integrated to ensure that procedures are always followed and to automate the flow of information. The laboratory is able to operate more efficiently as errors are reduced, less time is spent on review and rework, and information is readily accessible when needed.

SAP/SAP QM can be integrated with an LES to provide a high level of interaction with the laboratory.

·         Use triggers from SAP to initiate test execution in the LES

·         Transfer data from SAP to populate electronic worksheets in the LES, reducing workload for analysts

·         Integrate the LES with other informatics systems and applications to automate and control test execution

·         Perform calculations and data approvals in the LES prior to reporting to SAP

·         Transfer results automatically from the LES to SAP

Integration between SAP and an LES can enhance and improve laboratory processes – opening the door to faster sample turnaround and increased sample throughput. Laboratories can gain control over their day-to-day operations without the need to realize the cost and complexity generally associated with the deployment of a full-blown LIMS.

OF INTEREST:  “Connecting the Laboratory with SAP” is a short video that demonstrates an automated integration between SAP and an LES.

SAP and SAP QM are registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries