There is no shortage of tasks for a lab on any given day: time-sensitive test turnarounds, inventory management, report generation & sign-off, ensuring regulatory compliance, and a host of other tasks. If you do not have a system to help manage these tasks, things can quickly get out of hand.
And that means errors, double work, and the risk of non-compliance.
While some labs might rely on pen and paper to keep track of everything, a LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) can dramatically improve your lab’s efficiency and effectiveness. A LIMS is far superior to pen and paper or other manual methods, so in this article, we’ll explore the top six ways a LIMS can improve your lab’s efficiency.
A Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is a comprehensive software platform tailored to the demands of modern labs. When it comes to streamlining and automating your lab, a LIMS will be your greatest asset. A LIMS can help with:
We’ll touch on how each of these can make your lab efficient. For now, here’s a quick rundown on the best use cases for a LIMS:
When it comes to all-encompassing management tools, a LIMS often stands out as the gold standard to keep your lab running at peak performance.
Beyond efficiency gains, a LIMS is a clear winner for labs looking for a robust and secure way to manage their data and processes at scale.
Here are the main advantages of using a cloud-based LIMS in your lab:
Let's look at the ways a LIMS can help streamline and automate your lab.
The strength of a LIMS lies in its ability to help labs get more done. While there are many ways a LIMS can help your lab be more efficient, the top six benefits we’d call out are:
A significant strength of a LIMS is its ability to seamlessly integrate other instruments in your lab, centralizing data capture and storage.
This ensures that all data is easily accessible from a single platform. This reduces human error while also allowing data to be accessible to members of your team anywhere they are – something especially important as distributed teams become more common. When shopping for a LIMS, make sure to look for one with robust integration support.
We mentioned above that a LIMS can be used to digitize and keep track of samples. Not only does this help modernize your lab, but it also provides a sizable efficiency boost.
By digitizing this process, labs can swiftly log, retrieve, and manage the lifecycle of each sample. This eliminates the errors that come with manual recording, ensuring that samples aren't lost or mislabeled, which can be a costly mistake.
Digitizing samples and data is a major benefit, but it pales in comparison to the efficiency boost your lab can get from automation. Here’s a sample of the things a LIMS can help you automate:
Automation can be extremely powerful in eliminating repetitive tasks while reducing the risk of errors. Automation on its own is not enough, though. We recommend looking for a LIMS that is configurable (rather than customizable, which often requires custom code to set up).
A “no code” solution means your lab can adjust automations on the fly as your lab changes rather than hit a bottleneck that only a developer can solve.
Whether you are generating reports for a customer or internally, the ability to create complex data visualizations can be a time-consuming task. Many LIMS offer advanced analytical tools and data filtering to help labs generate and save reports.
Whether tracking turnaround times, monitoring usage of resources, or identifying bottlenecks, these analytics can be extremely valuable and simple to create with the right LIMS.
Compliance and quality control are critical in a lab. Fortunately, a LIMS can help you here as well.
A LIMS allows for real-time monitoring and control over various processes, ensuring that standards are met at each step. When anomalies or deviations are detected, alerts can be triggered, allowing immediate corrective action. QBench LIMS comes with an integrated QMS so all your lab management and compliance features are tightly connected in one platform.
For labs regulated under the FDA's 21 CFR Part 11 framework, please take a look at the in-depth guide here.
On the operations side of things, a LIMS can help with billing and invoicing as well. QBench LIMS can save your team thousands of hours each year by helping you:
Choosing a LIMS with billing support ensures accurate invoicing, reduces the potential for human error, and speeds up the billing cycle. Labs can thus ensure their financial operations are as efficient as their scientific processes, ultimately improving cash flow and customer satisfaction.
By investing in a LIMS (like QBench), your lab can make substantial strides in efficiency, reducing manual work and errors so you can focus on getting more done.
A LIMS can drastically improve the efficiency of your lab, but only if you choose the right LIMS.
A good LIMS will scale with you, adapt to your processes, streamline workflows, help your lab remain compliant, and connect your many instruments. Not every LIMS can provide this type of support while remaining quick to implement and easy to use.
That’s why we pulled our findings from working with hundreds of labs across industries in our guide to choosing the right LIMS for your lab. We included a free download as well to have on hand during your search.
Level up your LIMS by integrating instruments and software to automate your lab. Here is a guide to what you can integrate with a LIMS.
November 22, 2023
Heads up! Another release coming at you. This whole release is composed of features requested by customers.
November 20, 2023
Do you like samples of your samples and keyboard shortcuts that help you work faster? Then you’re in for a treat. The upcoming QBench release contains improvements to sub-samples to help you streamline workflows and do more with QBench.
October 30, 2023