Virtual Lab Is Shaping The Future of Testing

February 27, 2014

NTS Boxborough has launched the latest addition to National Technical Systems capabilities in regards to meeting our client’s rapidly growing expectations!

Virtual Lab, or VLAb, is our newest scheduling and asset management software designed to enhance information systems and directly affect our client’s experiences in a positive way. NTS has recognized that with an expanding customer base a tool was required to manage performance, communication, and goals by analyzing real time information from our business systems and drive our ability to make clients engagement a much smoother and productive collaboration. For our employees it’s a platform that is user friendly, easy to navigate and supports them from the enterprise level down through the local facilities.

VLab has a host of critical capabilities that will drive and shape the future of how NTS conducts business. Among the most important:

  • VLab provides a methodology for intra-facility scheduling. This is a keystone of the software, as it will allow each site to see and potentially utilize assets across the region or country. These assets can be mechanical, or human.
  • VLab will give us visibility to where certain assets may be better deployed to meet client needs and schedules.
  • In its purest application, VLab could be controlled by hub operations allowing a master scheduling environment for the enterprise, while still allowing schedule flexibility at a local level.
  • Data collection will become standardized throughout the enterprise allowing for a one company “feel” that is so important to our clients.

VLab is now giving us the power to see how, when, and how much we use our assets. This becomes a crucial key to planning out capital needs and expenditures. This will also aid in guiding the correct staffing levels needed to provide the service and attention our customers expect. We will be moving to traceable facts and figures to help support capital requests and the justifications that go along with them.

vlab employee utilization chart
Employee Utilization Schedule

Currently, the VLab software is running in our Boxborough facility. The deployment effort to bring this futuristic tool to all of the facilities is underway. March will see the implementation of the software in our Tinton Falls, NJ facility, and over half of our facilities will be running on this platform by the end of Q3 2014. The end of 2014 and the first half of 2015 will see the deployment reach all of the facilities in the NTS family. An exciting time!

Lastly, one of the most exciting components of VLab will be the automated report writing capability. This piece of the tool, when deployed, will reduce our lead-times on one of the most critical components of our clients testing efforts, the final report! After testing is complete, this report is the final piece of the puzzle for our clients — and they need it fast! VLAb’s report writer functionality will begin as each phase of the testing completes. It determines in which section of a report the specific data set belongs, and allows that information to be either automatically or semi-automatically inserted into the report. Step by step and test by test, the report builds itself! This has the ability to greatly reduce touch labor and lead-times for our clients.

In summary, the Virtual Labs software application is a remarkable tool being used to transform NTS into a shared resource and capabilities modeled business environment. Reporting of project status and progress will be in real time to get our clients what they need most….information and results!

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