From Chaos to Harmony - How Odoo Improved a Health Industry Work Environment
Reorganizing the Company Structure
Industry: Healthcare Industry
Apps Implemented: Sales, Purchase, Invoicing, Accounting, Inventory, Discuss
Number of Users: 9 Users
Company Size: 250 Employees
The Laboratoire National de Santé (LNS) is a public institution established in 2012, operating under the supervision of the Ministry of Health in Luxembourg. The LNS employs 250 people, and provides a wide range of services within diagnostics and research, with six scientific departments including services and units related to the fields of anatomopathology, genetics, medical biology, microbiology, forensic medicine and health protection. The main purpose of the LNS is to develop expertise related to the prevention, diagnosis and monitoring of human diseases, and to carry out the role of a national control or reference laboratory. In addition, the institution contributes to the development, harmonization and promotion of technical laboratory methods in close collaboration with local national and international foreign analytical laboratories. The LNS is a very ambitious laboratory with innovative projects aimed at increasing their expertise in public health.
More info on: http://www.lns.lu
Reorganizing the Company Structure
It all started in 2013, when the LNS became a public establishment. This had quite the impact on the administrative and financial department, whose role is to support the different operating services and provide assistance in fields such as finance, IT, infrastructure, HR and quality management. With the reorganization, the accounting and the invoicing services had been merged and this in turn affected the type of financial statements they now had to prepare. As the organization’s needs evolved, so did their need for a more powerful accounting solution. In parallel to all the changes and the reorganization of the finance and administrative services, the project evolved and the decision was made to not only implement a new accounting system, but a full ERP system. The idea was to harmonize, simplify processes, mitigate risk and generally make the employees’ lives easier.
Odoo Steals the Thunder from SAP
Until 2016, every support service had its own software. Payroll and Purchasing had their own, and Accounting & Controlling, and Invoicing had had two different software each, and the internal clients each had their own laboratory software. This had become a complicated system to manage and maintain, and with the volume of data transfer the risk of losing data was quite high. The LNS came to the conclusion that it was time for a change - but a change to what?
After scanning the market and assessing all possibilities they narrowed it down to two possible solutions, SAP and Odoo. The Head of Project at the LNS was leaning towards SAP, as she had used it in the past and was already convinced about its performance. As a turnkey solution it’s quite easy to implement, and it’s easier to convince people about a product that already has a strong brand name and is used by several large and famous corporations. However, once they discovered Odoo they found that the implementation was quick and simple, they could rely on the vast community that surrounds Odoo, and any need that Odoo didn’t cover could be developed since Odoo is open, flexible and adapts easily. After some consideration and research, they decided that Odoo was a better fit for them, and finding a partner to assist them with the implementation was easy. The LNS is very happy with their decision and with their partner, Acsone, with whom they still work hand-in-hand to develop the system.
Improving the Work Process at LNS
Before starting to use Odoo, the LNS was using several different software solutions, but with Odoo the workflow was simplified and general improvements were made to the LNS work environment:
With less applications, using one solution instead of many, there is no need to transfer data from one place to another and therefore the risk of data loss and tampering is lower. Everything has been centralized, so there is no need for complex processes anymore.
The Odoo user interface is friendlier than their previous one, which made change management easier.
- The LNS appreciates that Odoo is paperless as it’s environmentally friendly, and it also makes it much easier for the organization to archive and track documents.
In addition to the general improvements, more specifically, Odoo greatly impacted accounting, controlling and invoicing;
Due to Odoo’s transparency and tracking abilities, it’s great for audit compliance as you have all information on hand. Additionally, it’s great for daily management - everything you need is just a few clicks away.
Payment follow-ups, especially for billing and client accounts, is now much simpler. Before Odoo the LNS was using two different solutions for that, but they’ve developed a tailormade solution that links the principle source of information for billing, directly to Odoo Invoicing.
For payroll the LNS has a specialized software directly linked to Odoo, as Luxembourg has very specific laws in that regard.
The LNS was also facing quite a challenge in regards to purchasing. Their purchase department was managing everything on paper and the processes were inefficient and complex, especially when it came to purchase approvals. Any purchase request had to be printed, signed by the Head of Service, then by the Head of Department, and if needed, the Management Team and then the Board of Directors. If everything went well and the paper didn’t get lost in the process, it finally ended up on the desk of the Purchasing Team to be converted to a Purchase Order and sent to the supplier by fax.
With Odoo, everything from the purchase request to the order delivery is electronic. The requester can add all necessary information directly on the purchase request, which is great for the approver and the purchase requester as they can access all information immediately in Odoo.
Same goes for tracking, both the requester and purchaser can follow where exactly everything is, whether the request has been approved, signed or sent, etc.
Last but not least, all the information needed for supplier relationship management, for negotiations, the statistics, etc., is readily available through Odoo Purchase.
The LNS also uses Odoo for quality management, although this is still a cornerstone project at the moment due to their ISO accreditation.
The non compliance management is fully electronic. When a non compliance is detected, the person in charge fills out a form which goes to a specific process and the corrective actions are taken and documented.
Document management is also fully electronic, with automatic follow-up, tracking and reminders. This means that when there is a new procedure at the LNS, Odoo sends the document directly to the right person, keeps track of who read what, and sends out reminders in case people don’t read the procedures.
- If you try to write with a wide general audience in mind, your story will ring false and be bland. No one will be interested. Write for one person. If it’s genuine for the one, it’s genuine for the rest.
Before Odoo, the stock management was not centralized, which created issues. The LNS was losing a lot of time, because they had to monitor the stock and manually prepare the supplier orders. Moreover, they were also losing money, because all orders were made separately, rather than synchronizing everything.
With Odoo everything is now centralized, with one single point of management.
Everything can now be managed automatically, and with Odoo Purchase they can create reordering rules to make sure that the stock level is never too low.
The idea is the same for the finance report that has been set up for the Head of Services to automatically handle all expenditures.
Odoo Inventory allows the LNS to manage multiple storage locations, which is imperative to them, as every service they provide needs very specific items for the daily operations.
Becoming Better Every Day with Odoo
Odoo has improved a lot of daily procedures within the LNS, but most importantly, the operational staff and direction now spend a lot less time on administrative paperwork, have more transparency and are free to focus on the core business.
The work at the LNS isn’t finished yet, and their next step is to implement Odoo for HR, e.g. for recruitment and holiday management. They are continuing the development of the quality management, which is still in its early stages. Finally, they are developing a computerized maintenance management system in order to centralize all the maintenance of their equipment in Odoo.
Odoo provided LNS with more time to focus on what’s important. The administration makes sure that the other departments receive the best possible support with added value, and the operational staff can now focus on diagnostic and research, helping people to get better. The LNS strives to become better and help others every day, with Odoo.