As it is an essential feature of modern scientific labs, selecting the most appropriate Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for your organization is a challenging task. Early LIMS releases were utilized for the basic tasks of tracking and controlling workflows. Nowadays, LIMS are designed for seamless integration with various applications, databases, enterprise systems, and instruments. They now also have features capable of managing the operations of a wide variety of laboratories.
Factors for Selecting LIMS
They key to selecting the best LIMS for your organization is being aware of the particular needs of your laboratory and business. Below are six key factors that your team should consider.
Specialized LIMS have been developed to support specific industries. To illustrate, a LIMS intended to support pharmaceutical quality control (QC) labs will have numerous features to meet regulatory compliance. In contrast, LIMS developed for unregulated industries will have features designed specifically for those workflows.
The marketplace has made available various LIMS intended for general purpose, and they are capable of supporting most standard workflows and business requirements. A company that is in an industry that is quickly changing or has an experienced and skilled IT department may be better off selecting a general purpose LIMS rather than a specialized LIMS because frequent modifications may be needed in terms of customization or configuration.
Type of Laboratory
Whether your organization has an R&D lab, Quality Assurance/Control manufacturing lab, or an analytical research lab will determine the type of LIMS that is best suited for supporting your laboratory. Along with LIMS that support specific industries, there are also specialty LIMS that support various kinds of laboratories in a specific industry. Such LIMS will feature functions suited for a particular kind of lab. As an example, LIMS developed for supporting an analytical lab can modify its configuration to let personnel located in several sites readily submit samples for testing.
Part 2 will discuss four more factors: Platform Flexibility Requirements, Architecture of IT, IT Resources, and Budget.
Alpha Engineering LIMS Implementation
Alpha Engineering Associates, Inc. has been involved with the implementation of over 50 LIMS systems ranging in size from small, “off-the-shelf” software systems to very large, highly customized, multi-functional systems, including STARLIMS, for both governmental agencies and private enterprises. For affordable client-focused network consulting services and solutions, please call Alpha Engineering Associates today at (410) 295-9500.