Modern laboratories need to collect, store and analyze large amounts of data daily, which requires a robust data storage solution. A laboratory information management system (LIMS) is specifically designed for use in labs, where processing high volumes of data and industry compliance are of the utmost importance.

Let’s explore the benefits of a LIMS system, and how they can help labs improve their efficiency and data security. If you’re not already familiar with this type of system, our article What is a LIMS and what is it used for? covers this in more detail.

In this article, we’ll cover the following topics:

LIMS key features

As a digital solution specifically designed for use in laboratories, a LIMS offers many key features that more generic data management systems don’t. LIMS systems use automation and customizable processes to improve lab efficiency, monitor workflows and analyze sample data.

Some of the key features of a LIMS include:

  • Sample management
  • Materials management
  • Inventory management
  • Equipment management
  • Process management
  • Compliance management
  • Process automation
  • Data processing
  • Data visualization
  • Data reporting
  • Report automation

Advantages of a LIMS

When deciding what type of system to implement in your organization, it’s important to weigh up the benefits of a LIMS versus any downsides. It’s also important to consider the potential pros and cons of continuing with your legacy system and not utilizing a lab-specific data management solution.

Let’s take a look at the advantages of a LIMS in more detail.

Process automation

Automation is a key advantage of a LIMS, reducing the impact of manual tasks and the associated human error on lab productivity. By automating laboratory procedures such as sample management, analysis and reporting, technicians are able to produce and process samples of a higher quality much more efficiently.

Increased productivity

Automation, streamlined workflows and improved process management allow laboratories to benefit from a massive increase in productivity. Performing tasks more quickly enables high-throughput sample processing to boost profits and meet project targets and timeframes. Implementing LIMS software typically increases throughput anywhere from 10 to 100 times.

Data security

Laboratories generate and store huge quantities of data, which poses a significant security risk. Mitigating the possibility of a data breach is particularly important when dealing with the sensitive nature of the samples and personal information processed on a daily basis. As it has been created for use by laboratories, a LIMS comprises industry compliance measures as standard for greater security.

Quality control

Enforcing quality control measures is critical to ensure that lab results are reliable and meet the high standards required by stakeholders and regulatory bodies. LIMS software helps to monitor instrument status, track samples and access up-to-date information. Customizable process automation enables the creation of efficient, repeatable workflows in any facility, minimizing inconsistencies between experiments and research projects.

Improved collaboration

By combining all data into a secure cloud network, LIMS software makes it easy for technicians to collaborate across wider lab networks. All collaborators can be sure that the information they are accessing is accurate and up to date, eliminating duplicate documents and time wasted manually searching for information. Permissions-based access controls ensure data security and privacy across the network while offering instant, convenient access for authorized parties.

Employee satisfaction

One of the biggest LIMS benefits is how much it simplifies laboratory-specific tasks, and the positive effects this has on employee satisfaction within their roles. From unlocking well-coordinated collaboration to offering seamless integration with ELN solutions in multiple locations, a robust LIMS solution helps to make working in a modern lab easier and more enjoyable.

Disadvantages of a LIMS

Now that we’ve explored the advantages, let’s look at the disadvantages of a LIMS.

Higher price point

As with any highly specialized software, LIMS systems tend to be more expensive than generic data management solutions. It’s worth bearing in mind that this cost will more than likely be offset by the increase in productivity and reduction of errors. Your lab may also be able to consolidate several legacy systems into one single LIMS, reducing ongoing software and maintenance costs.

Digital transformation requirements

Switching to a LIMS could be a complex transformation project involving multiple departments. This may initially cause downtime and a few complications within the lab, particularly if the project isn’t well organized. However, once in place, the new system will be able to unlock streamlined collaboration both internally and externally, as well as simplifying ongoing system maintenance. Any disruption during the initial implementation phase can also be mitigated by working with experienced digital transformation experts.

Employee learning curve

Current lab employees will have to learn how to use the new LIMS, which may seem daunting as the software encompasses a wide variety of functions. However, once they are accustomed to a new way of working, they will be able to use the LIMS to simplify workflows, automate processes and improve lab efficiency. For future employees, the onboarding process will be significantly easier, as the various different systems and features are combined within a single piece of software. To minimize the friction of learning how to use a new system, opt for a no-code LIMS with user-friendly drag-and-drop functionality.

Benefits of a highly configurable LIMS system

While they have many processes in common, every laboratory is unique, with its own set of requirements, challenges and required outcomes. A huge benefit of LIMS solutions is their ability to be fully customized to accommodate the needs of each individual organization.

The best laboratory information management systems offer user-friendly, no-code configurability, allowing technicians to drag and drop elements to create custom workflows simply. LIMS solutions that are designed to integrate seamlessly with other lab vendor software can also be scaled up and down to meet the changing requirements of the laboratory without the need to reinvest in expensive software.

How a LIMS can benefit your lab workflows

LIMS solutions are designed to streamline lab workflows and enable seamless cross-department collaboration. By combining all laboratory data into a single repository, a LIMS enables all authorized parties to access essential information while eradicating data duplication that can lead to errors and inconsistencies. This also helps to improve data security, reducing the risk of leaks.

LIMS software offers end-to-end support for lab-specific processes such as sample management, from collecting and labeling samples to analyzing and reporting on data. With easily customizable workflows and powerful automation tools, the LIMS can reliably take care of day-to-day lab processes in the background, leaving technicians free for more complex tasks.

Discover Sapio LIMS

There are many benefits of a LIMS that can help your laboratory to operate more efficiently while keeping data safe. From automating workflows to generating lab performance reports, the advantages of upgrading your legacy system to a lab-specific solution can help to keep costs down and minimize downtime.

Sapio LIMS is a no-code, no-SQL platform created to empower laboratories through seamless integration, collaboration and data management. With scalability and industry-specific compliance requirements built in, you can be sure that the advantages to your lab are cost-effective and long-lasting.

To find out more about Sapio LIMS, or any of our solutions, get in touch or request a demo today.