How novel technology can make insourcing compound management cost effective in just 4 years

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05 May, 2015

blog: how novel technology can make insourcing compound management cost effective in just 4 years

A recent 2014 survey reported that 17% of CEOs are planning to insource previously outsourced work, which is more than the average across all other industries (PwC 17th Annual Global CEO Survey 2014).

Ludo Ottenbein, Head of Compound Management and Analytical Chemistry, Lundbeck, Denmark describes his own experience with insourcing and explains why it makes sense.

Why increase your workload by managing compounds in-house?

It is easy to think that outsourcing is reducing the workload of a facility manager, yet CROs also need to be managed and often this can be very time consuming and leads to a lack of control over your own samples. As library collections become larger, customers needs change and it becomes harder to continually provide a high quality, fast and cost-efficient service. One of the reasons insourcing has become more viable and cost effective is advancing technology including automation systems that require less dedicated personnel to run them.

Ludo’s challenge

Ludo Ottenbein task was to increase organisational efficiency and promote a high-performance culture, however he was also given a few constraints:

  1. no increase in FTE
  2. no more lab space
  3. no (or minimal) downtime
  4. no increase in costs

Lundbeck’s successful sample management model

Understanding that quality, speed and cost were the most important aspects to the new strategy, Ludo decided that a hybrid model that insourced about 50% of its processes, including all the primary liquid storage of compounds would be the most effective.

TTP Labtech – co-creators of the working solution

TTP Labtech was able to provide Lundbeck the complete solution to managing the large numbers of primary liquid compounds in-house. Not only were the compounds stored in several linked comPOUND repositories but also access to these compounds was managed using TTP Labtech’s robots that decapped and recapped microtubes and the mosquito HTS liquid handler which dispensed the compound from mother plates.

The Impact of change

This model has reduced picking and pilot screening times by up to ten-fold and at the same time Ludo has achieved his goals:

  1. no increase in FTE- TTPLabtech’s automated solution provided an accurate method to miniaturise compound collection and thereby saving compound while increasing the diversity of our output with no increase of FTE
  2. no more lab space – TTP Labtech’s comPOUND is a high density storage system (up to 200,000 samples) with a very small footprint (1.2 x 1.65 x 2.35m)
  3. no (or minimal) downtime – reformatting of 300,000 samples took just 5 months
  4. no increase in costs – cost neutral by year 4

“comPOUND has been an integral part of our successful restructuring aided by the incredible support that the engineers and sales staff of TTP Labtech have provided to Lundbeck. We installed all equipment and were up and running within 48 hours”, remarked Ludovic Otterbein, Head of Compound Management and Analytical Chemistry, Lundbeck, Denmark.

If you would like to read more about Lundbeck’s successful business model and how insourcing can be a cost-effective strategy, please download our application note or hear Ludo present this work in our latest video.


More information about comPOUND can be found on our web pages or by emailing