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5 minute read • published in partnership with NexSys

Case Study: Labcold boosts competitiveness with SYSPRO ERP

Labcold, the UK’s largest manufacturer of medical and scientific refrigeration is depended on by customers to provide safe solutions in cold chain storage. Founded in 1932 in Borough High Street London, Labcold has been serving science for over 90 years. Labcold put its customers at the heart of everything they do to ensure Labcold products meet their exact needs in terms of function and quality. That’s why they were the first UK manufacturer to give customers a UK 5-year parts and labour warranty on their IntelliCold® pharmacy range and the only UK manufacturer to achieve medical device certification ISO 13485 for their blood bank refrigerators, plasma freezers, platelet agitator and incubators.

Labcold is also an ISO17025 UKAS accredited temperature calibration laboratory #8898 and provide maintenance contracts, calibrations and repairs by their own in-house trained field engineers through the Labshield brand, which not only prolongs the life and performance of equipment, to increase sustainability but also helps their customers conform with MHRA regulations and CCQ compliance.

Their refrigerators and freezers are used by the NHS, private and public laboratories and the MOD armed forces for the safe storage of blood components, reagents, human milk and vaccines. Just like their customers they need reliability and visibility throughout operational processes from inception, manufacture, order fulfilment, servicing and customer support functions.

By integrating SYSPRO 8, the business has reaped the benefits of a centralised ERP system that gives complete control over day-to-day operations providing instant information to maintain a competitive edge.

Picture: Labcold

Digital imperative

Labcold’s success depends on the business having the right digital backbone. An effective ERP system is critical in monitoring performance. Having a centralised system to manage every facet of the business ensures decision makers have complete visibility and can view key data wherever and whenever they need it.

Labcold customers demand the best, the manufacturing process is monitored for quality every step of the way, but the company also needs the flexibility to innovate as they develop new products and explore new ways to reduce their carbon footprint further and increase product sustainability.

Due to these complexities, Labcold required an ERP partner that appreciates its business drivers and can adapt to its changing needs. The business has worked with NexSys for more than 20 years, ensuring its digital infrastructure can facilitate ever more complex operations.

Labcold Managing Director, Suzanne Clubley, said: “Some other ERP providers we considered were very corporate and inflexible. We have worked very closely with NexSys, who have taken the time to get to know our business and take a holistic approach rather than being departmentalised. The team is large enough to be able to offer a comprehensive range of solutions but are still agile and responsive to our changing needs.”

Staying up to date with SYSPRO 8

As the SYSPRO offer has evolved, Labcold has reaped the benefits of improved functionality. The latest version, SYSPRO 8, provides the business with a solution designed specifically for manufacturers. The solution has helped Labcold optimise performance, implement best practice, guarantee compliance, and secure a competitive advantage.

Suzanne and her team can personalise their workspace, access real-time data anywhere, anytime and use actionable insights for better analytics and more informed decision making. With the right tools at its disposal, Labcold is better equipped than ever to meet customer demands and stay one step ahead of its competitors.

Picture: Getty/iStock

Suzanne explains: “SYSPRO 8 is intrinsic to our business, making us more efficient and better informed. Its timely information sharing is invaluable in aiding communication and improving efficiency. The system is very user-friendly, is highly scalable and offers us access to the latest technology. From automating tasks and speeding up processes, to tracking every stage of the production, we couldn’t manage without it.”

As an environmentally conscious business Labcold has exploited SYSPRO 8 to reduce its reliance on paper-based processes. Paper transactions are redundant as employees can access all the information they need electronically.

The use of Dataswitch from NexSys has also helped transform the business through process automation and operational streamlining. Dataswitch is the missing link to standardise the flow of information between disparate software systems. The purpose- built integration tool enables Labcold to eliminate human error and frees people up to get on with more valuable and rewarding tasks. For example, NexSys consultants used Dataswitch to develop a program allowing staff to send all order information to the dispatch company with the click of a button.

Labcold needs all aspects of the manufacturing process to be transparent and traceable to ensure that their products conform to exacting quality regulations needed for medical devices. From Engineering control module to validation provided by TransLution, NexSys has supported Labcold to provide a system that is data responsive and with the ability to drill down for accountability of costs and transactions.

Labcold has also linked its CRM system with a connector enabling product and account data to be available to customer care and sales advisors. This ensures that customer needs can always be met by sharing knowledge effectively.

Future proofing

Labcold has evolved significantly over the last 90 years and much of the secret of its success is down to its agility. NexSys has become a key partner in helping it respond to new opportunities and challenges by providing a flexible yet out of the box designed package that can be power tailored to provide the solution.

NexSys helped Labcold streamline its sales intake to dispatch process from being inefficiently manual and paper-heavy to a fully digitised system. This was achieved by reviewing and optimising processes, tailoring SYSPRO and deploying NexSys partner solution TransLution for real-time data capture on the warehouse floor.

From updated statuses to progress complex technical sales that need approval to filtering ready- to-ship orders for logistics to confirm for dispatch, the solution is built using standard SYSPRO technology that will easily upgrade with future releases.

Picture: Getty/iStock

Bryan Whewell at NexSys said: “Labcold’s pinch points were many analogue processes going through manual systems that were just cumbersome, slow, and prone to error.”

This digitalisation helped Labcold seamlessly scale without adding headcount when demand for their medical devices grew 40-50% in 3 months during COVID. One of the great benefits of SYSPRO 8 is that functionality can be added with minimal disruption. “Our requirements are constantly changing, said Suzanne, “but so is our ERP system. If I need something, all I need to do is discuss it with my Account Manager at NexSys and they make it happen,”

“NexSys has been there for Labcold for over 20 years, and we will continue to grow together”, explained Suzanne. “SYSPRO’s capability is critical in ensuring we function effectively whilst helping us grow as a business. NexSys’ expertise and support have been invaluable throughout our journey. They have understood our drivers and whenever we need new functionality, all we have to do is pick up the phone.”

In development for the future, Labcold intends to use its ERP system to automate how parts and products move through manufacturing processes. It plans to exploit SYSPRO’s Avanti Web Interface to provide screen-based visibility, so that staff can easily see what needs moving where, minimising errors and improving efficiency.

SYSPRO 8 provides the information required for senior management and the board to run the business efficiently and make pertinent decisions.