What Your Lab Should Integrate With a LIMS

LIMS integrations illustration

Thanks to LIMS (Laboratory Information Management Systems) platforms, modern laboratories can rapidly scale, automate tasks, and get more done. 

There’s a way to get even more out of a LIMS, though: leverage its integration capabilities. By integrating software, external systems, and instruments, you can automate entire processes for your lab and free up hours for your team. 

What can/should you integrate with a LIMS? We’ll explore this in-depth in the following article. 

The Benefits of Leveraging Integrations With Your LIMS

Leveraging the power of integrating instruments and systems brings many benefits. Here are the top advantages of leveraging integrations with your LIMS.

Automate Lab Processes

Integrating your software, systems, and instruments allows you to automate repetitive tasks (like data entry or sample tracking), as well as the reporting of data to external customers. You can even automate the calibration of your lab instruments to save time. A LIMS can also integrate with external software to automate invoicing or customer-facing tasks in a CRM.

Connect Your Data and Eliminate Errors

Manually managing data across disparate systems increases duplicate work and the potential for errors. Seamlessly integrating your systems ensures that your lab’s data is accurate and accessible in your LIMS. This also provides a single source of truth for your staff, reducing confusion and questions that can arise with manual data entry.

Improve Efficiency

By reducing manual work, connecting your systems, and automating tasks, a LIMS is a fantastic asset for improving your lab’s efficiency and productivity. Integrations are just one piece of automating your lab. Check out our complete guide to improving lab efficiency with a LIMS for more ideas.

Enhanced Compliance

Not only does a LIMS reduce the potential for data errors, but you can also integrate with compliance and security platforms to ensure your lab meets industry standards. This can simplify the audit process by providing easy access to data, audit trails, and compliance reports.

Power Up You Reporting

Many LIMS (like QBench) will offer support for data capture and reporting, but by integrating with a third-party BI platform, you can level up your lab’s data reporting with powerful dashboards that can be shared with your team. Integrated systems allow for the generation of detailed and customizable reports, providing deeper insights and facilitating informed decision-making.

What Can a LIMS Integrate With?

From lab equipment to project management software, there are few limits to what you can integrate with a LIMS. QBench integrates with over 50 popular software platforms, though let’s explore our most popular integrations.

Lab Software and Systems

On its own, a LIMS is extremely powerful, but if your lab utilizes an ELN (Electronic Lab Notebook), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), or QMS (Quality Management System), integrating these systems can make you even more efficient.

ELNs and ERPs are not the same as a LIMS, but they are powerful pieces of software that can help a laboratory digitize and streamline its processes. Integrating an ELN with a LIMS can facilitate seamless data transfer as well as digitize documentation, observations, and experiment data. By connecting LIMS with ERP systems, labs can synchronize inventory management, procurement, and financial data. 

While a QMS is not the same as a LIMS, you can integrate the two to support compliance with quality standards and regulatory requirements. It allows for efficient management of SOPs, audits, non-conformance reports, and corrective and preventive actions. QBench LIMS comes with a built-in QMS, giving you a simple and effective way to manage compliance and quality control along with all your lab workflows.

Lab Instruments

Integrating your LIMS directly with lab instruments allows for automated data capture, whichminimizes manual data entry, reduces errors, and ensures data integrity. You can even use your LIMS to track lab instrument calibration and maintenance schedules, ensuring they operate within the required specifications. This eliminates errors from faulty instruments and streamlines your lab to help you get more done.

CRM Platforms

A LIMS can integrate with much more than lab and process software; you can integrate your CRM to connect your customer and lab data in one platform. Integrating a CRM helps you manage client information, track interactions, and streamline communication (not to mention that many CRMs come with their automation capabilities)

QBench integrates with popular CRMs to connect your customer and lab data seamlessly, such as:

Business Intelligence and Reporting Software

While many LIMS will offer support for generating reports (QBench has excellent report generation and automation capabilities), you can power up your lab’s reporting by integrating popular business intelligence and reporting platforms with your LIMS. 

This allows you to generate more complex reports as well as build custom dashboards to help your team better understand your data and make decisions. QBench integrates with popular BI platforms such as:

Accounting and Billing Software

A LIMS can integrate with financial and accounting software to automate the billing process. This includes generating invoices based on the tests or services performed, tracking payments, and managing accounts receivable. Such integration reduces administrative overhead and enhances financial accuracy.

QBench has built-in invoicing support and integrates with popular accounting and invoicing providers such as:

Industry-Specific Software

A flexible and extensible LIMS can integrate with industry-specific software as well to power your lab. Sync genomic analysis, pharmacological data, and more to catalog your findings and create a single source of truth for your staff.

By syncing data you can boost your lab’s analysis capabilities and leverage AI (artificial intelligence) to spot trends, enhance reports, and gather key insights for your findings. Look for a LIMS with a robust and well-documented API for seamless integration.

QBench integrates with several industry-specific platforms:

How to Choose the Right Integrations for Your Lab

With all of these options to integrate with your LIMS, it’s easy to get overwhelmed - where should you start?

We recommend understanding your lab’s unique needs, workflows, and where the current bottlenecks are. By assessing the systems you use and where your best opportunities for improvements are, you can make sure that you choose the right integrations to improve your lab’s processes and flow. 

Usually, these bottlenecks lie in:

  • Time-consuming data entry
  • Issues accessing real-time data
  • Compliance and regulatory standards issues

With these pain points in mind, look for integrations that directly address these issues, thereby streamlining operations and improving efficiency.

It's also crucial to consider the scalability and compatibility of potential integrations. As your lab grows and evolves, your LIMS should be able to adapt seamlessly. Choose integrations that can scale with your lab’s increasing data volume and complexity. This approach ensures that the integrations you choose not only solve current problems but also support your lab's future growth and success.

Choose the Right LIMS and Integrations to Automate Your Lab

Integrations can provide a massive efficiency boost to your lab, but you need to choose the right ones. While many LIMS platforms will appear to be the same on the surface, they won’t all provide the same automation capabilities, ease of use, or other essential features. 

We poured years of experience into our complete guide to choosing the right LIMS for your lab to help you make the right choice.