The term «Gemba» is derived from the Japanese and can roughly be translated as „the true place“. In context with the businessworld, «Gemba» is to be understood as the place where value is created. For example, for an automotive group, the production site for vehicles is the «Gemba». Similarly, in a service laboratory the individual laboratories are to be regarded as «Gemba». The concept of «Gemba Walk» was developed by Taiichi Ohno, the developer of the Toyota production system and pioneer of just-in-time production. The basic idea is based on the assumption that optimization possibilities can best be determined by observations directly on the spot1. The «Gemba Walk» is process-related and not personal. Specifically, the «Gemba Walk» is intended to enable managers and members of management to get to know the processes of value chain in detail and to optimize them on the basis of conscious observation and questioning.
All members of the INTERLABOR management have a scientific background and laboratory experience. The management has already performed various «Gemba Walks» with great enthusiasm. This has resulted in many ideas and suggestions for process optimization. Be it the more time-efficient design of work processes, the saving of paper printouts, the optimization of workplace cleaning or the improvement of analytical methods.
1Masaaki Imai: Gemba kaizen: a commonsense low-cost approach to management. McGraw-Hill Professional, New York, 1997, ISBN 978-0-07-031446-7
My career at INTERLABOR began in 2004 in the field of trace analysis. Due to my many years of experience in instrumental analysis I was initially responsible for the development and optimization of gas chromatographic methods. My first major project at INTERLABOR was the expansion of the pharmaceutical raw materials division and the introduction of new analytical techniques such as headspace gas chromatography. I was not only able to apply my passion for troubleshooting and the organization of major projects to the analytical department but also to the move from INTERLABOR to the new company building in 2008.
"For me as a managing director and shareholder, INTERLABOR is a part of life."
In the new company headquarters, I built up an independent department for research and development projects and managed it until I joined the management team in 2015. I particularly appreciate the very entertaining work and the professional challenges at INTERLABOR. Every day, we receive new customer enquiries from a wide range of industries for which we develop tailor-made analysis strategies. As a chemist I am particularly interested in the structure of the ingredients of herbal medicines. Our high-resolution mass spectrometer, for example, enables to gain a deep insight into the chemistry of substances and makes me amazed again and again at the variety of chemical structures found in nature. For me as a managing director and shareholder, INTERLABOR is a part of life. It is therefore important to me that the joy and fun at work is not neglected. Therefore, I attach great importance to sharing my passion and enthusiasm for analytics with my employees and passing it on to them. My vision is that everyone in Switzerland with an analytical question first thinks of INTERLABOR as a problem solver.
Dr. Olivier Aebischer
CMO / Deputy CEO
Dr. Yannick Zimmermann