No matter how great your laboratory techniques and processes are, the technology you use in your day-to-day lab operations will make or break your business. Even if you have the best lab, team, and equipment in your field, if you don’t have the right digital platform to back them up you will soon find yourself lagging behind the competitors. A properly designed LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) platform is more than just a tool for your business, it is the main artery of your entire operation, collecting data from every single one of your processes and distributing it to where it needs to go. Here are 10 reasons why you should be implementing a custom LIMS platform right now:
1. Data should be Accessible Anytime, Anywhere, on Any Platform
Your data is by far the most important thing in your operation. Not only should it be secured and protected, it also needs to easily be accessible by you and your clients at the touch of a fingertip. A custom built LIMS platform can be developed on any operating system, with compatibility for any device. Wherever and whenever you need it, laboratory results and key performance indicators such as quality metrics, turn around time statistics, and revenue reports should be easily accessible. With a custom LIMS platform you will be able to manage your lab from the beach or golf course just as easily as you could from on the bench.
2. Because Using Excel is so 2002…
Microsoft Excel is a great tool when setting up a new method or formula or if your lab work changes dramatically from day to day, but so often it is also used for the purposes of routine data analysis, calculations and reporting. These are all tasks that could easily be automated with a custom LIMS platform. Excel has some great automation features built in, but the power of having a digital platform specifically designed for optimizing your day to day laboratory tasks is indescribable. As soon as you replace that clunky excel interface with a slick custom LIMS platform you’ll see what we mean!
3. You Should Feel Excited When You Boot Up Your Computer
Remember the feeling you got when you picked up your first iPhone? Something so simple and intuitive also gave you this incredible power to do things with a device you never though possible. We truly believe that a custom designed LIMS system should feel exactly the same way. You should feel excited about turning on your computer for the day and getting your lab fired up and ready to go, not dreading the point-and-click fest you expect to endure, which brings us to our next point…
4. Stop Wasting Time ‘Pointing-and-Clicking’
I bet you would be extremely surprised if you timed the number of minutes you spend clicking between applications, accessing files in folders, and copying and pasting data on a daily basis. Even if it’s only 10 minutes per day (and that’s probably on the low end for most people), you are spending more than 48 hours every year doing it. Now multiply that by everybody in your team, and wow! That’s a lot of hours spent on something that’s not very value add. A custom LIMS platform should be designed to eliminate most if not all of these kinds of tasks- automation is the name of the game in today’s technological world.
5. Optimize your Workflow
LIMS should be more than just a tool, it should be designed as a seamless digital extension to the physical processes in your lab. The digital and physical processes have a mutual effect on each otehr- the optimization of one will effect the other and vice-versa. The implementation of a seamlessly designed and optimized custom LIMS platform will have a hugely beneficial positive effect on your overall laboratory workflow.
6. Integrate with ALL of your Equipment
‘Out of the box’ LIMS platforms always have compatibility built in, but in our experience there are always instruments, devices, or software packages in every lab that aren’t supported. A custom LIMS platform can be designed and customized with 100% compatibility for every piece of equipment and analytical software in your lab. Say goodbye to copying and pasting files, converting file types, and comping up with patchwork solutions just to move your data from platform to platform.
7. Minimize Recurring Expenses
You should only need to pay for your LIMS when your lab process changes or you want to add a new feature. Hiring staff developers or paying subscription costs will eat away at your profit margin, and most of what you’re paying for are features you don’t even need! By having a custom LIMS platform developed, you only pay a one-time fixed development cost, and eliminate those ongoing expenses.
8. Simplify Regulatory and Accreditation Compliance
Breeze through your next audit with ease using a powerfully capable custom LIMS platform that will provide you with any data or information an auditor requires at the touch of a fingertip. One of the biggest challenges that most regulatory laboratories face is the cumbersome nature of meeting accreditation requirements of systems such as ISO 17025 or GxP. With a custom LIMS seamlessly designed to integrate into your quality system, these challenges that you spend countless hours working on to overcome simply disappear, leaving you more time to focus on what really matters- providing value to your clients!
9. Purge those Extraneous Features
One of the great revolutions in user interface design over the last decade has been the elimination of unneeded features- prior to this, the value of a piece of software was determined by how many features it could provide, but now a platform’s value is based solely on how well it performs the function it was intended to. A custom LIMS platform has a singular purpose and that is to store and manage your laboratory’s myriad of one of a kind data. Stop getting bogged down with features and extras that you’ll never use that don’t add value to your operation, and start focussing on what matters… #10 is next.
10. Provide Value for Your Clients and Increase Profit
Your clients are paying for one thing and one thing only- the end result you provide. No matter how many fancy techniques you use or how complex your process may be, nothing matters except the end result. That being said, the only avenue you have to increasing your profit margin is through the reduction of your costs. A custom LIMS platform is specifically designed to perfectly and seamlessly fit into your lab operation to eliminate extraneous tasks, extra pointing and clicking and transferring, and ultimately reduce the cost of doing business. Who could say no to that?