Selecting LIMS or SAP for Laboratories – Part 5

Selecting LIMS or SAP for Laboratories – Part 5

Over the years, a number of big companies eventually abandoned SAP after devoting several years and investing significant sums of cash for its implementation. Several years into the process, Lidl, a major supermarket chain in Germany, cancelled their SAP implementation after spending €500 million. The company discovered that SAP was so inflexible that its coding could not be modified properly for integration with its existing processes. Lidl was forced to revert to its old inventory management system.

Situational Suitability of SAP and LIMS

A company’s preference for either SAP or LIMS may be determined by its chief activities and current requirements that are not being met.

SAP may be more suitable for a business that requires the following:

• Integrated Supply Chain
• Intelligent Procurement, Invoicing, and Billing
• Results Limited to Quality Testing

LIMS may be more suitable for a laboratory that requires the following:

• Calibration and Maintenance of Lab Instruments
• Comprehensive Management of Laboratory Activities and Processes
• Ease of Adaptability
• Intelligent Integration of Instruments
• Laboratory Data Processing in Real Time
• Metadata and Raw Data Storage
• Stability Studies
• Training Records

For the purposes of a laboratory-intensive organization or for laboratories with more specialized applications, LIMS provides the functions required for your lab operations.
Interfacing SAP System with LIMS

Organizations that have an existing SAP or LIMS may want to implement the other. A number of LIMS in the marketplace are capable of being integrated directly with SAP QM. This type of integration makes it possible for the sharing of data between both systems. Thus, SAP QM can handle administrative functions, while the LIMS manages laboratory operations. This configuration will necessitate deciding which system will act as the “Master”, taking responsibility for information storage and determining data specifications, while the other will be the “Slave”.

Part 6 will ask, “Is STARLIMS the best of both worlds?

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.