Selecting LIMS or SAP for Laboratories – Part 2

Selecting LIMS or SAP for Laboratories – Part 2

As discussed previously, the choice between selecting a LIMS or SAP for a laboratory is an ongoing debate for companies considering an upgrade to a professional management system from their existing tracking software. Part 2 will discuss SAP Main Features and Usability.

Main Features


• Accounting transaction centralization
• Analysis of market conditions
• Financial reporting compliance
• Financial risk management
• Intelligent reconciliation of accounts
• Monitoring of currency rates


• Management of customer demand-based supply chain
• Management of inventory with forecasts of deliveries and needs
• Product options configurable
• QC reports with KPIs
• Warehouse management software integration

Professional Services

• Intelligent forecasting of project costs
• Cost-rate management
• Management of enterprise portfolio and projects
• Monitoring of project via data queries
• Optimization of available technological resources usage
• Reporting regarding profit-center
• Timesheet approval enhancements
• Timesheets for contracts
• Transparent reporting of project timelines


• Creation of sales order based on quotations
• Credit memo request approval workflow
• Integration of billing and invoicing
• Management of orders and contracts
• Optimization of logistics and order fulfillment

Sourcing & Procurement

• Automatic procurement policy application
• Automated recognition of invoice documents
• Decreased expenses for scaled purchasing for entire company
• Natural language functionality for purchase requisitions
• Purchasing centralized across several subsidiaries
• Reporting is catalog-based

Remote Access

• Automated backup of data to the cloud
• Information access via web-based portal


Although helpful for business administration, SAP is incapable of providing oversight for every aspect of lab management. It cannot directly integrate with lab equipment, software, and complex laboratory operations, making SAP sometimes confusing for lab personnel. In contrast to LIMS, SAP programming is inflexible and cannot be customized. Laboratory staff must adapt to its rigid structure that was intended for business applications.

Part 3 will discuss LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System).

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.