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September 2, 2016
Update on Animal Management
Michelle Detwiler

Dear Customers,
As you may be aware, iLab is in the process of developing a simple but robust Animal Management Module that builds upon and integrates with our base core facility management software. To ensure that we are designing this module to flexibly meet the needs of a variety of facilities, we are building this product in stages and in collaboration with a number of customer partners.

The first two milestones for this product line were a Protocols Management component and Animal Ordering functionality, and we have completed our first round of development for each.

The Protocols Management component allows a facility to store the particular sets of data that animal facilities and principal investigators will need to reference in the course of their daily workflows and processes. With this feature in place, iLab can receive an input file containing approved protocols from their institutional Protocol Management system, or approved protocols can be manually entered into iLab. Core Managers and researchers can then associate approved protocols when placing service requests or animal orders.

Animal Ordering, sometimes referred to as Animal Acquisition, allows researchers to place online requests for animals, based on their approved protocols, and the facility administrator can review and approve the request and place the order to the vendor. This module includes workflows for ordering animals from "Approved Sources" (typically common commercial vendors) and "Non-Approved Sources." As part of this build, we have integrated searchable catalogs from some of the most widely-used research animal suppliers and will also allow for the inclusion of institution-specific vendor pricing. We have also included the ability for researchers to place recurring orders of animals on a delivers schedule, which they can define within the order.

iLab is now actively working on the third major phase of development (Housing and Cage Cards) which includes, in part: the ability to assign incoming animals to facility animal housing locations; the printing and scanning of barcoded animal Cage Cards; and the development of a user-friendly Cage Record Management interface, which allows a facility to quickly search or filter for cages they are interested in and then update various attributes and/or add attachments pertinent to the cage record.

This current phase will be followed by the development of an Animal Census component. This functionality will build upon the Animal Acquisition and Cage Records components and will also tie directly into the existing iLab billing module.

Thanks for your continued interest in this module; we're excited to see it progress towards completion!

Michelle Detwiler
Product Marketing Engineer

Interface, Performance, & Feature Updates

As iLab constantly strives to improve its user interface, a number of updates have taken place over the past weeks, with more coming in the near future. These changes boost performance as well as ease of use for all users.

1. Institution Page Updates - iLab is in the process of redesigning its institution management pages. The new look will provide easier navigation as well as performance enhancements.

2. Scheduling Tab - iLab's Scheduling tab is also being updated. In addition to a more modern look, the Scheduling Tab has been redesigned specifically for users to more quickly find what they're looking for.

3. Updates to Schedules - iLab has invested time to re-configure scheduling calendars in order to boost performance. Users will also notice a visual change with these enhancements.

4. Fund Approval Management Enhancements - We are continually adding workflows in which administrators can manage funds in iLab. Soon to come are the following fund approval management features:

  • Per institution set-up, admins will not have to be associated with a lab in order to manage funds used bya lab
  • Also with this setting, only people who are designated to approve a particular fund can manage fund approvals

Please note: Integration build will be required for this to work.

The changes mentioned above are expected to deploy to the iLab system later this year. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your iLab representative.

New Features Coming Soon!

1. Volume Discounts: Cores will have the ability to provide discounts to users based on the amount of usage, either by hour or by dollar amount. Administrators can define discounts by user type, group association, usage type, and by equipment.

2. Time Entry: Associates in cores that offer professional services, such as Biostatisticians in a Biostatistics core, will be able to quickly and easily account for the time that they spend on various projects. Upon logging into the iLab system, the core member is presented with an easy-to-use time sheet where he or she may track work associated with a specific job.

This method allows:

  • Core members to quickly and easily enter their time in a weekly view
  • Core managers to easily review their staff's time per work week
  • PIs to easily view the charge

3. Configurable Reservations: Cores that offer services with costly setup and/or changeovers often want more prescriptive ways to pre-configure equipment. Further, customers may need to request detailed configurations for equipment in order to meet their needs. With our new configurable reservations capabilities, iLab now gives service centers the ability to designate the specific set-up configurations for a particular time frame, and gives customers the ability to view the schedule and select the time that meets their desired configuration needs.

4. Software Interlock: In collaboration with Sassafras Software, iLab is in the process of developing a new Software Interlock module. This new feature allows access to specific software programs to be controlled using a combination of iLab’s Scheduling and Interlock functionality with Sassafras Software Licensing and Management suite of tools.

These features are expected to deploy to the iLab system later this year. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your iLab representative.

iLab's Complimentary Webinar Series
Sarah Becker Vaughn Hinrichs

Join iLab experts Sarah Becker and Vaughn Hinrichs as they provide explanations, useful tips, and a Q&A session on iLab's Advanced Scheduling tools. This webinar will take place on Wednesday, September 28, at 1:30 PM EST.

Whether you are a seasoned iLab user or new to the system, this session will provide informative new perspectives on how to most effectively use iLab's advanced scheduling features.

Please go to our webinars webpage for more information:

Core Facility Management Benchmarking Study Coming This Month!

Our sixth annual Core Facility Management Benchmarking Study is nearing completion. This year's survey saw the highest number of respondents to date; thank you to all who participated!

Upon completion, you will be able to view this year's survey results free of charge on the iLab Benchmarking Study webpage. In the meantime, you are encouraged to check out previous studies:

2016 EU User Group Conference:
2016 EU User Group Conference

Registration is still open for our 2016 EU User Group Meeting, which will be 11-12 September 2016 at Fundação Champalimaud in Lisboa, Portugal. All administrators who use iLab are encouraged to attend. We will continue to have a North American-based conference in early 2017 as well.

2017 User Group Conference:

Save the date! The 2017 User Group Conference will be held Febraury 20-22 at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida.