With 200 science and testing locations globally, LGC CIO Gideon Kay had to keep a forensic eye on operations. Read the full profile here.
By Mark Chillingworth
“We are the largest provider of forensic science services in the world. The only thing we don’t do is fingerprint recognition.
"We manage part of the Department of Health’s research budget that puts sponsorship out into industry, so we use our platforms to review and monitor programmes.”
“Our newest business is genomics a deep area of DNA testing and we have specialist machines that sequence DNA for companies that want to know the yields of a crop in one place, for example, and why the yield is different in another,”
“It is applied science in a commercial world. For example, we did the testing on sweets that were getting stuck in children’s throats and found the chemical that caused that. “We like to say that regulation is our friend, as emerging markets will want to export, but as exporters they need our services.”
“All our labs have high-end instruments which are connected to a laboratory workflow management system, which has been my main focus. We barcode scan all items as they come into LGC, as we need to maintain a chain throughout the organisation, and we also have to log how much time we spend on everything. That chain could be a chain of evidence for a forensic account, so you do not want to have evidence in a lab notebook, then have to add the information gathered from a test onto a PC, because there is a margin of error creeping in.
“With the networked instruments we have integrated, there is a solid chain that can be viewed from devices and PCs.”
“The ERP programme was in flight when I joined, so I had to land that and then start on the £4m labs management system,” he says. Once the ERP was completed, Kay and his team carried out a thorough self-analysis of the ERP implementation to discover what went well and what did not to ensure they were aware of areas they could improve on before they began the labs management system implementation.
“With ERP you upset the back office, but for us the labs management system is customer facing in effect.”
“We now have three sites and 100 employees in America and 20 people in China and South America, so that has driven a lot of change.”
“The programmes are about on-boarding the acquisition companies as effectively as possible.”
“There is a lot going on. A lot of this is about the potential and growth of the business and its effectiveness. The labs management and ERP are connected for billing, for example,”
“SaaS helps me a lot as our challenges are international as we are a very merger and acquisition-driven business that acquires owner-manager businesses from scientific entrepreneurs. As an organisation, we need to bring them into a business, but not suffocate them.”
“Thirty per cent of our employees have PHDs and there is a challenge in retaining them and how my team can support HR in retention.”