Streamlining Laboratory Workflow with J.S. Hamilton

Client

J.S. Hamilton is a multinational company headquartered in Gdynia, Poland. It provides specialized and accredited lab analysis services for food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, packaging, liquid and solid fuels and chemicals as well as environmental analysis services.

Overview

intive worked with J.S. Hamilton to design and develop a new LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) platform to replace the organization’s outdated legacy system. The main goals of a new platform were to improve the usability, scalability, work efficiency, ensure better quality control of the laboratory analysis, and decrease the operational costs.

Services

UX, UI, Business Analysis, Backend, Frontend, Mobile, Azure Cloud

Industry

Life Sciences

A reboot for global growth

In the early 2000s, when J.S. Hamilton consisted of a single laboratory in Gdynia, the company invested in its first IT system to support the workflow.

As J.S. Hamilton expanded across Europe, the original IT system began to struggle to manage multiple sites, different languages and accreditations, not to mention the company's wide portfolio of services. The system was excruciatingly slow and the UI badly needed an update.

To address these challenges, the company considered out-of-the-box software, but none of the available solutions could be tailored to its needs and meet J.S. Hamilton's expected scale of operations.

That's where intive came into the picture.

A reboot for global growth

Understanding the challenge

In order to better understand J.S. Hamilton's needs and processes, intive conducted a series of design and business analysis workshops, as well as a Google Design Sprint and a number of laboratory visits. With the knowledge that was gathered, intive created prototypes, mockups, epics, and user stories to identify the best possible solution for J.S. Hamilton.

Tailormade tech solutions

With a clear vision of J.S. Hamilton's needs, intive identified the technology stack for the task: .NET framework, React, and Azure cloud as a hosting platform. Then the development began, with a full Agile team leading the way. The MVP was ready and launched in less than a year and served as a good basis for further workflow analysis and improvements, hands-on user testing, and the next steps of platform evolution.

The team also developed a mobile scanning application to increase work efficiency around the laboratory.

Tailormade tech solutions

Overcoming obstacles

The main challenge was addressing the rapidly growing wish list of functionalities specific to each laboratory while unifying the workflow across the whole company. Business analysts and technical leaders on the intive side together with the product owner and her team on the client side had to revisit their assumptions and step back from the actual development to analyze and optimize the business process.

The second biggest challenge was combating a reluctance to adapt to the new system. The roll-out was gradual: Tenured employees tended to stick with the old system, simply because that was the way they were used to working for years while newcomers preferred the new system.

Luckily for intive, the team on the customer side was cooperative, professional, and highly motivated, so project success was only a matter of time.

As of 2022, after 58,000+ hours of work over 2.5 years, our new LIMS is fully implemented. It supports all the features required by each laboratory and is now used for 100% of new samples. Once the tenured employees were convinced to switch, they got used to it very quickly.

Overcoming obstacles

What’s next?

J.S. Hamilton needed a new system that was customizable, flexible, and could be developed continuously over many years to reflect their changing needs. This includes operating on a global scale, so adding new languages and locations is a top priority. The Agile approach allows the development team to continuously obtain user feedback and iteratively optimize the solution.

Employees at every level proactively propose the optimizations to the workflow, which are implemented in parallel in the actual laboratory and in LIMS. One example is aid for sample storage management: storage rooms and shelves are marked with barcodes and each stored sample has its storage “address” in the system. That way, finding a sample becomes much quicker.

At intive, we are extremely happy to be a partner for J.S. Hamilton and proud to be able to assist them on their exciting growth path.

Despite the scale and complexity of the project, intive successfully developed a brand-new system tailored to the special workflow of our laboratory specialists and integrated perfectly into our existing processes, plus so much more. We look forward to continuing our journey with intive in the months to come.

Dorota Baranowska
CIO at J.S. Hamilton

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