The ILS Journey from Disaster to Recovery

Having the opportunity to redesign the facility and the laboratory work Process Flow, has allowed ILS to pass on the benefits of fast and on time delivery to customers, coupled with increased quality and economies of scale, enabling the company to provide an enhanced service of the highest scientific standards and remain at the forefront of contract laboratory testing.

International Laboratory Services (ILS) has made considerable progress with its new state-of-the-art facility following a devastating fire in February 2013 at the site in Shardlow, Derbyshire. Around 100 fire-fighters from Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire had to work in very difficult conditions, crews were forced to literally tear apart the building to gain access to the fire and put it out. After eight long horrifying hours, the fire crews managed to tackle the blaze and established the safety of the area.

The food and pharmaceutical contract testing company were exceptionally lucky not to have any staff members injured in this terrifying occurrence, however the damage to the research facilities was extensive and almost 75% was deemed unusable. The business was forced to concentrate on recovery in terms of revenue and profit and the business recovery that was put in place far surpassed all expectations. Overall they were looking at a massive 70% projected loss, but with a successful recovery plan partnered with the dedication of their staff, customers and suppliers, they managed to achieve less than 20% revenue loss.

In December 2013 the ground work on the new laboratory was completed and the foundations and services installed in line with the schedule. This was an emotional yet exciting time for ILS as it saw the end of an era but the start of a new opportunity. Over the twelve months to follow, the contractors, builders and management teams worked through all climates to ensure the building work was completed. May 2014 saw their first major milestone, the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Department was able to move in and its equipment had been validated to GMP standard. 

As such ILS announced the new laboratory facility open for business. Later that month ILS proudly accepted the East Midlands Medilink Award for Outstanding Achievement! 

Since then the Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Pathogen, Quality Control and Media Preparation departments closely followed and are now operating in the new facility.

Four months on in September of 2014 ILS were pleased to announce the completion of the building work and installation of equipment, however work continues on the validation and qualification of the instruments and systems for the Food Microbiology Laboratory.

The end of 2014 marked a major achievement for International Laboratory Services as the remainder of the validations and accreditations are scheduled to be approved and the complete facility will be operating. The recovery process has been extensive; we would like to thank our staff and colleagues in the industry for their extraordinary dedication, hard work and support through the frustrations we have encountered during this challenging period.

'We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their patience, ongoing support and commitment to ILS during the redevelopment process. ILS are currently planning a celebratory event to showcase their new facility. The event will also be an excellent opportunity for customers to familiarise themselves with our capabilities.' say Lorraine Bater, Operations Director, and Stewart Neithercut, Head of Business Development, ILS.


International Laboratory Services