Operations improvement study increases sample throughput by 49%

Operations improvement study increases sample throughput by 49%

ICON (formerly PRA Health Sciences), a global drug development partner, had a vision for its new bioanalytical laboratory facility: To create a space that encourages collaboration and is flexible and efficient in order to help facilitate life advancing therapies across the globe. However, until the new space was designed and fully functional, our client needed to find efficiencies within its existing space, allowing for more samples to be tested and accommodating the need for increased headcount and equipment. Our client was experiencing a significant increase in testing demands and used CRB’s consulting solutions to identify opportunities to optimize the current space.

The Process:

Our team started with data collection efforts, interviewing staff, shadowing, taking spatial measurements and equipment run time. We created spaghetti maps to identify redundancies in the workflow and opportunities to expedite process flow and we performed a high-level capacity analysis. This helped our consulting team develop a list of more than 50 improvement options, with each opportunity prioritized based on the potential business impact and implementation ease.


  • Developed spaghetti maps to improve adjacencies
  • Performed equipment capacity analysis to improve level loading
  • Identified means to free up bench and floor space to accommodate additional equipment and headcount
  • Provided more than 50 improvement opportunities


Project Details


ICON (formerly PRA Health Sciences)


Lenexa, Kansas


  • Client implementation of more than 70% of improvement opportunities
  • A 49% increase in sample throughput
  • Up to 30% reduction in travel distance and time
  • Improved office layout to accommodate 26 additional employees
  • Freed-up significant floor and bench space
  • Provided high-level estimates to design and implement these solutions

Ready to increase your throughput? Let’s talk.

 Return to top