In this first of two blogs relating to the food and drink industry, I’m reflecting on how businesses can shorten their own learning curve by drawing on other people’s experiences. Smart industries learn from each other and ideas which seem less relevant to one can, on closer examination, reveal new approaches to improve competitive edge.
Best-practice scientists, engineers and technicians have adopted technology to help drive the development of new products. They recognize data is a critical asset – it’s the foundation of valuable intellectual property (IP) and the lifeblood of their business. An enterprise data management ecosystem using electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs) helps organize all their research, experiments and procedures. This enables IP to be easily captured and protected and also enables secure access to the contextually rich research & development (R&D) information and knowledge so it can be reused effectively. ELNs provide a platform for effective collaboration both within the organization and with partners – which are both key to success in an increasingly globalized, multi-party and competitive environment.
Today’s food and drink industry is dependent on information at every stage – particularly in R&D. The food and drink industry is placing a greater emphasis on securing IP and the demands on employees to monitor, manage and report business critical information are increasing. Yet much of this still exists in paper notebooks or spreadsheets resulting in difficulties around traceability, finding crucial information and spending too much time preparing reports. Managing R&D data manually and relying on paper takes up valuable resources and dual pressures to innovate and hit deadlines means the stakes have never been higher. Improved data management can help secure IP, drive productivity, improve quality and support collaboration in new product development.
Such data-intensive environments are perfect for an enterprise data management platform and this explains why ELNs are being adopted by data-intensive domains such as food and drink, pharmaceuticals, energy and FMCG. Replacing manual paper-based data capture with ELNs ensures that data is effectively managed and kept secure, accurate, up-to-date and accessible. This is the only way that information can be helpful and IP can be effectively managed.
ELNs are a proven way for many companies to organize and gain access to critical information. Rapid access to information allows them to share ideas more quickly, gain deeper insight and ultimately, innovate and excel. Better collaboration and high quality data enable good people and good ideas to make a bigger impact, faster.
Those food and drink companies which have recently implemented data management platforms such as IDBS’ E-WorkBook are already reporting time savings of between five and eight hoursper week per user. It’s an impressive statistic and one with tangible business benefit.