Chemical Management for Biopharmaceutical and Research Labs
Integrating EH&S into the Business Process
We described how Novartis uses EMS software to manage their chemical inventory from cradle-to-grave. Here is a summary of how we accomplished this integration:
Supplied complete environmental information management software and customized program for chemical “pharmacy” management, bar-code scanning, consolidated storage and purchasing/waste minimization. Programmed interface to in-house pharmacy and purchasing system. Implemented radio-frequency ID tag passive tracking system. Implemented radioisotope tracking system.
The program encompassed the following work by Chemical Safety Software:
- Concept development
- Program recommendations
- Software provision
- Customization programming
- Hardware and systems interface building
- Systems support
This program was based from the beginning on our out-of-the-box EMS system. The software manages environmental information for compliance reporting, regulated material management, hazardous waste documentation and MSDS maintenance.
Additionally, Chemical Safety analyzed Novartis’s needs, determined further functionality required to lower risk associated with chemical inventories being stored throughout the research facility, “bench-top” in chemists’ labs. A process keeping all chemicals and inventory information accurate and available real-time was established, and custom programming was performed by Chemical Safety Software’s employees.
Bar-code scanning equipment and capability was programmed into EMS, and later was also updated to include tracking with radio-frequency ID tags. A separate system to track required information associated with radioactive materials was developed in conjunction with Novartis. An interface was set up between EMS and Novartis’s working purchasing system to log inventory as it was received. Researchers order chemicals they need from a desktop computer’s order form on Novartis’s Intranet. These chemicals are delivered to the lab and tracked by scanning bar codes on the chemical container and the lab itself.
Better control of chemicals resulted in lower costs for construction of the research facility as regulated chemicals are consolidated and stored in highly protected bunkers. This also lowered insurance costs for Novartis. Better control of information resulted in lower costs as researchers shared chemicals of which they need only small amounts. This lowered both purchasing and waste disposal costs. Environmental reporting is easier as inventory is traceable and a single software source houses all required information.
Manual entry of inventory receipt and waste disposal was eliminated, keeping records more accurate at the same time.