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95 www. bus- ex. com October 08 Expansionproject Andrew Pelis learns how improved facilities, a focus on innovation and a booming market add up to a promising future for IDEXX Laboratories

T October 08 www. bus- ex. com 96 site aims to generate greater manufacturing effi ciency while at the same time providing greater capacity for research and development. " Westbrook is our global headquarters and home to the majority of manufacturing, R& D and marketing. Our distribution center is located in Memphis and ships our products worldwide. Most of the current investment is for the expansion of our manufacturing and R& D here in Maine," explains Rand. " The company was formed in Portland, Maine, in the mid- eighties, and in 1992 we moved into the existing building but only occupied a small portion. We continued to expand but felt that we still had a fairly ineffi cient layout, so one of the things this expansion will enable us to do is ' lean out' the manufacturing process. A lot of thought has gone into the new layout to make it as lean as possible so that the product fl ows properly through the plant and the travel of product and people is reduced, which should result in signifi cant effi ciency improvements for the manufacturing process." August 2007 saw the fi rst phase of the expansion project as part of the old building was torn down to make way for a 200,000- square- foot addition. This has not only served to benefi t the manufacturing side of operations but has critically provided more space for the research and development aspect. " We were completely out of space," states Rand. " We had continued to grow and hire people for our laboratories but had reached the point where we had too many people per bench; they needed to spread out. We urgently needed to create more lab space for our research teams." IDEXX has to meet some regulatory requirements from the US Department of Agriculture ( USDA). " We have to meet certain criteria in regards to how we release lots and send test data to the USDA, which has to be approved before going to market. We also have USDA inspections at different times of the year and have set up a Quality Control team integrated into our manufacturing processes," says Rand. " However, we're not as regulated as, say, drug discovery companies, and we are certainly able to utilize lean manufacturing techniques, employing " A lot of thought has gone into the new layout to make it as lean as possible so that the product fl ows properly through the plant and the travel of product and people is reduced" IDEXX Laboratories he world of pet care is currently going through a boom period. At the cusp of pet care innovation, IDEXX Laboratories is now undertaking the renovation phase of a $ 75 million project to expand and update its fl agship facilities in Westbrook, Maine. The need for expansion has been driven by the company's success in adopting a blueprint formulated by Jonathan W. Ayers, the current CEO, to become a billion- dollar business globally. Brian Rand, engineering manager, works within the facilities group at the Westbrook site and has witnessed the changes and growth over the last six and a half years. " There was a very signifi cant change after the arrival of Mr. Ayers. He put together a blueprint for achieving billion-dollar status over fi ve years, and we managed to achieve this within three years. " The pet care market itself has changed over the past few years," Rand continues. " There are people now who don't think twice about spending whatever it takes to look after their cat or dog. This aspect, combined with the approach the new CEO introduced and the teams and vision that he put together, has a lot to do with the success we are now enjoying." IDEXX has become a worldwide leader in innovative products and services for veterinary, food and water applications. The company's companion animal group accounts for approximately 80 percent of turnover and is ably supported by its equine business, both of which combine biotechnology with medical devices and information technology to support veterinarians' efforts in providing excellent care while building successful practices. Additionally, the food and water businesses employ effi cient technologies for livestock or poultry monitoring and ensuring the safety of public water and milk. The expansion and renovation of the Westbrook