Laboratorios Bernabó, also referred to as Bernabo labs, is a large Argentinian pharmaceutical company with more than 80 years of experience in the industry and over 600 employees. The company’s goal is providing patients with safe, effective and high-quality medicines. Prestigious in Argentina, the company ranks among the top 10 national laboratories.
Scilife’s customer success manager, Trine Michelsen, hosted a group call with those in the Bernabo team responsible for the company’s quality processes - namely Guillermo Degreef (QA Manager), Marcelo Furlan (IT manager), María Laura Giraudy (Quality Supervisor) and Daniel Taddia (QA Analyst). Together, they discussed the company’s transformation so far with Scilife.
The quality team’s initial concern was finding an efficient, digital way to tidy up Bernabo labs’ outdated document system, which was a digital but (mainly) paper-based hybrid system, Marcelo explains. The company was already very large, with thousands of documents, so standardization was essential.
Bernabo labs invested considerable time into an extensive comparison evaluation between eQMS suppliers. Based on a list of criteria, the quality team shortlisted six contenders, out of which they selected three finalists. Needless to say, Scilife got Bernabo labs’ winning seal of approval!
Marcelo points out that very specific technical and functional requirements were critical for Bernabo labs from the very beginning. Scilife was the only supplier on their shortlist who was able to meet 100% of Bernabo labs’ critical requirements and 90% of their non-critical requirements.
When the team was comparing systems, they began by comparing the user experience of each eQMS and soon discovered Scilife’s tremendous user-friendliness. Marcelo mentions that Scilife’s very positive user experience stood out to him, as well as robustness at system level.
Secondly, but no less importantly, was the need for an excellent Microsoft Office integration, Marcelo adds. Scilife had the best integration among its competitors in Bernabo labs’ evaluation.
Bernabo also tested out each supplier’s eQMS, and found Scilife to be the most professional system in the testing phase.
Marcelo goes on to share how the migration experience over to Scilife went, and how delighted he was with the results, especially since this was a big concern for Bernabo labs.
‘Scilife always listens for opportunities to improve, even during the migration phase, it positively surprised me’
Laura, Quality Supervisor at Laboratorios Bernabó
He stresses that the company needed to move over 4000 documents, so migrating that quantity of data was no mean feat. Scilife helped them prioritise which documents to migrate first, and gave them an effective transition plan that divided the migration into manageable chunks, Marcelo explains.
When it came to implementing Scilife in his team, Guillermo mentions that it was very easy and didn’t take much time for his team to understand, a week at most.
Interestingly, one of the tactics to facilitate fast learning that the team used was to first get employees set up as read-only users in Scilife and once they understood the basics of the system upgrade them to general users. It proved to be an effective way to prevent his employees from being overwhelmed with too much information at once, Guillermo explains.
Daniel adds that another trick to help a team get up to speed in no time is to use the audit trail that Scilife provides. Scilife makes it really easy to print off an audit trail with a list of all steps taken, so users can learn from that too.
Guillermo is first to point out his favorite feature - the much-loved Scilife dashboard. It’s very practical and keeps every single person up to date on what tasks are pending for them, making follow ups easy, he explains.
Scilife’s search function has been a tremendous time and resource saver for Bernabo labs, Guillermo adds. The search functionality makes it simple and easy to find what’s needed, very useful in a company with so many documents.
From an IT perspective, Marcelo approves of the speed and smooth running of Scilife’s cloud-based servers. The lines of communication are excellent, there are no delays in accessing even large documents, he explains, which removed a big headache for him. Since transitioning over to Scilife’s entirely cloud-based set up Bernabo labs has really stepped up technically, he enthuses.
The whole gang enthusiastically agree that Bernabo labs finally being fully digital has been wonderful. Leaving behind paper is so important, and now everything is digitalised, Laura explains. It’s amazing to never use paper again, it’s more eco-friendly, and everything is faster, Guillermo adds.
Both Laura and Daniel outline the importance of well controlled document copies. Before at Bernabo labs, there would be delays in approval workflows and out-of-date copies in circulation that would lead to error. Today, those errors don’t happen, Laura explains. Having digitally controlled copies means documents are always up to date. Dani adds that it’s now also easy to remove specific controlled copies of documents, which is very important to avoid confusion.
When asked about what tips the Bernabo labs quality team has for other companies or QA professionals on the lookout for an eQMS, Marcelo begins with the technical points:
First and foremost, it’s vital to consider what the specs are of the tech the provider is running their platform on, as some providers use a somewhat outdated tech that results in a poorer user experience and solidity of the platform from a technical point of view, he points out. He recommends thoroughly testing proof of concept before making any final supplier decision as well, as this is what really shows if the system complies with what it says it is designed to do. His own team did this by testing shortlisted eQMS suppliers with both the QA and the IT team, and really took time for this step.
Secondly, define all the requirements that your chosen system must meet. The functionalities you desire should all be present, but also look for a provider that offers wide ranging features that you may need in the future. If your company has growth on its horizon, then you want scope for growth in your quality system too, Marcelo notes.
Thirdly, don’t forget to check financial and contractual obligations of suppliers as well, Marcelo highlights. Scilife is very transparent and easy to understand legally, in that regard, he explains.
He goes on to stress the importance of a supplier that offers post-implementation support. Although his team has had very few issues so far, any bugs they did have were solved rapidly by the Scilife team, Marcelo explains. Guillermo adds that support was and is fundamental to Bernabo labs, and it’s something that should matter to your company too:
‘We always received a level of support that for us is fundamental. A quality system isn’t ‘done’ after the implementation stage! It's a permanent continuous improvement. The technical support that Scilife gave and still gives us was fundamental in every aspect. Any doubt or concern, any point of improvement, it’s all taken into account and then treated and resolved.’
Guillermo Degreef, QA Manager at Laboratorios Bernabó
Finally, before starting any migration to a new QMS, the Bernabo labs team recommends working hard in all areas involved in the documentation of your company to make the process smoother.
He also muses that, based on his own experience, it’s important to educate your team on using the features for what they’re designed to do.
The outcome of going all in with Scilife has been a big success, the Bernabo labs team concludes.
‘Scilife has been a huge improvement to what we previously had; we gained a tidy document system, gained greater efficiency in using documents and saved a lot of time in our document publication workflows’
Guillermo Degreef, QA Manager at Laboratorios Bernabó
There’s been great improvement in the traceability of documents, and Scilife has optimised their document system, Guillermo explains.
Laura adds that Scilife has helped clarify workflow responsibilities, defining roles better within each flow. All in all, the whole Bernabo labs team is very content with their Scilife journey so far!
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