Launch2014 Preview — Post Foods
Jennifer Lake is a Research Scientist and Analytical Lab Manager at Post Foods with a background in food chemistry and a primary focus on instrumental analysis.In her role as Analytical Lab Manager, Ms. Lake is the lead on new laboratory technology development within the Post network; this includes being the main administrator for the Post Core LIMS System. At Launch2014, Ms. Lake will be discussing her experience successfully establishing two Core programs. She contributed the following preview of her presentation.
Post Foods is North America’s third largest cereal manufacturer, with its base R&D operation located in Battle Creek, MI. Within the food industry, the Food & Drug Administration heavily regulates key side panel attributes. It is therefore critical that our product formula is represented accurately from bench-top work to full product scale up in the national plants. Analytical verification takes place throughout the R&D process to ensure appropriate claim levels are maintained. These analytical data were previously stored in an outdated database system that was failing and no longer provided a reliable tracking system. The CoreLIMS provided the optimum solution with its flexible data management and inventory tracking system. The flexibility within the CoreLIMS has allowed Post to create a data repository to fit all of the unique brands and products, each having its own formula and analytical testing requirements. Post was also able to convert over one million lines of archived data into the CoreLIMS system into a format that is track-able, searchable and retrievable.
Research is constantly innovating and renovating new and existing Post products; this can greatly alter the product profile and can create significant shelf life stability issues. Creating a Shelf Life Stability Module allowed Post to move away from excel as the primary tracking and charting program. The integration of the stability module into Post’s R&D processes has streamlined reporting and greatly reduced the time spent on data entry and manual charting. This module allows Post the flexibility to create stability studies with multiple time points, temperature conditions, and a multitude of different, track-able measurement types. This system allows for an entire 12-month stability study to be created by our end user within a few minutes. This can all be completed with the “push of a button” due to the gadgets and dashboard format that Post has created within the CoreLIMS system. Prior to the Core system, a typical Stability Study would require approximately 40+ man-hours per year to complete; we estimate that this will be reduced by at least 50%. On average Post conducts upwards of 150 studies per year.
One of the key features that Core Informatics has provided is the ability to self-administer and extend the Post CoreLIMS system. Post has capitalized on the training received and has created its own unique and simplified user-interface. This simplified interface allows an end-user to easily execute their daily activities, un-obstructed by the complex configurations required from such a flexible system. The Stability Module allows for extreme flexibility in the design and execution of virtually any stability study, all while providing front end gadgets and dashboards that hide this complexity from the end user. The decision trees that were created using the Gadgets and Dashboards guide an end user through the vast array of studies that can be executed with a simple “push button” feel. This has forced an otherwise unstructured research environment to become streamlined; allowing for reproducible experiments and searchable data. Gadgets have been created to allow for quick link queries and reports. Core Gadgets have allowed for a simplified but thorough end user experience.