LIMS is increasingly being leveraged in laboratories across various industries including:
- Clinical research
- Contract laboratories
- Metallurgy and mining
- Oil and gas
- Forensic examination
- Chemical industry
Recent statistics show the application of LIMS is climbing steadily in laboratories across multiple industries.
This fact alone might be a strong enough case for you to consider integrating this software into your business.
To help you to make an informed decision, in this article we will explore in detail how LIMS works, what questions you should ask to ensure LIMS is right for you, and how to develop a solution tailored to your needs.
Tweet: To help you to make an informed decision, in this article we will explore in detail how LIMS works, what questions you should ask to ensure LIMS is right for you, and how to develop a solution tailored to your needs.
How LIMS works
All laboratory work is based on the recording, processing, and analysis of samples. These processes generate a huge amount of information, which requires not only sufficient storage but also reliable management tools. As laboratories grow there is a need for better organization of work, additional resources, and processes.
With a broad array of functionality to choose from LIMS can easily cope with all these.
With this type of laboratory software, you have a sample management system that allows you to store all the necessary information in one place as you pass tests, generate the necessary reports to monitor all internal processes, and share information with all parties involved.
Another significant plus is a system for generating barcodes for the original sample. By scanning the barcode, different users can track the entire chain of changes without losing intermediate results.
The main problems that are solved with LIMS:
- sample registration
- audit of test results
- automated workflow
- data storage
- integration with other information systems
This software simplifies, organizes, automates, and reduces the required execution time of current processes resulting in significantly increased productivity.
Choosing the right LIMS
As with any software you will be faced with a choice - an off-the-shelf solution or a custom developed product.
With ready-made programs, you save time on development and a product with a proven track record. While you will surely get an impressive number of functions, in most cases you end up paying for many you won't ever need. These “extra” features may also decrease the speed of the system with unnecessary resource consumption.
Custom development, despite taking longer to implement, will ensure you create an efficient system specifically tailored to your needs. This is done with extensive oversight and in close cooperation with the customer. As a result, you receive a product that is well-suited and optimized for your business processes with only the necessary functions. In this case, you do not have to worry about license issues. The product is entirely yours and no additional payments are required.
LIMS is responsible for the automation of critical processes, and therefore its selection requires careful consideration. Regardless of whether you decide to use a ready-made or custom solution, you must approach this issue scrupulously and responsibly. Our article How to develop LIMS for your laboratory in 5 simple steps should make this process much easier.
How to determine if you need LIMS
The development/purchase process of the necessary lab management software is often accompanied by certain doubts as to whether or not it is the best solution for your business. Indeed, any investment should be supported by indisputable facts.
For your reassurance, we have prepared a list of questions for a simple self-test:
- Do you work with a lot of different samples?
- Do you use various consumables and equipment during testing (reagents, test tubes, containers, machines, etc.)?
- Do you spend a lot of time entering information and generating output documents?
- Do you have difficulty submitting diverse reports in a timely manner (to the administration, investors, clients/patients, etc.)?
- Have you ever faced confusion in documents due to employee errors?
- Did you have a shortage of human resources when implementing research projects?
- Have you had incidents of employee misconduct that led to false data in your reports?
- Do you have a need to organize a quality management system in accordance with international standards.
Did you answer yes to at least a few of these questions? Then you absolutely can’t do without LIMS. The next stage is the search for the right development company with experience in creating LIMS or a trustworthy acquaintance with ready-made solutions (try Capterra).
Today, the implementation of LIMS is rapidly becoming a standard of modern laboratories.
By properly analyzing your business processes, you can choose the right LIMS solution. This will increase your efficiency and ultimately make your business more competitive. Less time wasted on manual tasks that become automated will allow you to better meet deadlines, fulfill obligations, improve your products, and exceed your customer’s expectations.
We also recommend reading our previous article on the TOP 5 benefits of LIMS for your company to explore all the features of this software.