How to Select the Best LIMS Software for Your Lab

02/16/2022
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Scientists and laboratory professionals periodically perform searches to determine “what is the best LIMS software.” With so many changes in technology, the results can be overwhelming when you’re comparing one vendor’s LIMS software to another’s.

Scientist at bench

Even though every lab professional’s LIMS needs are different, the main lab software requirements will be the same. You need a LIMS that can:

  • Manage Internal and external requests
  • Guide laboratory scientists through lab processes
  • Increase the quality of results
  • Ensure reproducible results
  • Maintain compliance when in clinical settings
  • Track data related to samples & processes

So, how do you choose which LIMS software is the right fit for your lab? Here are some helpful suggestions, courtesy of Sapio Sciences:

Moving Beyond the LIMS of Yesterday

A LIMS (laboratory information management system) has traditionally been thought of as the building block of laboratory technology strategy. The nascent version began as nothing more than spreadsheets or internally built applications to keep track of inventory management for samples, instruments, and test results. 

Top LIMS vendors were historically known to charge hefty amounts for their applications and take years to deploy. This is because LIMS software was more software development services than a software product. 

The result? The old LIMS was a continuous requirement-gathering exercise that was riddled with custom feature development that often didn’t even meet the needs of research laboratories.

Luckily, companies like Sapio Sciences have turned the basic software into an extensible and fully customizable product.

Current LIMS Products: What to Watch Out For

Most modern LIMS products come with built-in features for sample and inventory management, and we recommend looking for configurable elements that can better suit your lab needs. 

The majority of LIMS products are web-based, which makes it easy for your lab technicians and managers to get started with the software’s out-of-the-box features, even with minimal experience. 

But if you’re looking to integrate instruments, an ELN (electronic laboratory notebook), or an analytics system, keep in mind that not all LIMS are created equal and some products may not offer these types of integrations. 

The problem with many modern LIMS software products is that the complexity of your lab workflows might require configurations that aren’t widely available on the market today. If this sounds like what you’re currently using, you’re being forced to adapt to your software rather than having a software that’s adapted to your business needs.  

You may be right in thinking that the features you need will be delivered in a future version release, but this again slows down the full deployment of the software and increases both real and opportunity costs.

Investing in the Future with LIMS Products

The demands for clinical LIMS software and research LIMS software at pharma and biotech’s are higher than ever before in our current competitive market, and especially since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Outside of the typical patient, sample, and inventory management capabilities, the LIMS of tomorrow has to meet many requirements.

When searching for a LIMS solution, be sure to look for a product that offers these key features or characteristics:

  • Low activation energy and high data volume support
  • Ready for rapid deployment 
  • Highly adaptable
  • Easy integration of systems and instruments
  • Low-code or no-code configurations 
  • Flexible processes and workflows
  • Fully configurable data model
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Advanced integrated charting, searching, and analytics
  • Combined LIMS and Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELN)

Many lab professionals are looking for silos between applications—such as LIMS, ELN, Lab Execution System (LES), and scientific data management systems (SDMS)—to disappear.

Investing in a centralized laboratory information management system like Sapio LIMS products will prevent silos in your business.

Finding a LIMS with Built-In Integration

As we stated, there are just too many high-quality LIMS software solutions on the market today to stick with a product that isn’t serving your lab workflows or business processes. 

We think you can agree that the best LIMS software is more than just a LIMS. We recommend finding an informatics system that’s built as a platform—or an application-agnostic software that can become any application. 

For example, Sapio Sciences developed Sapio LIMS, Sapio Seamless ELN, and SDMS integrations from its singular platform.

Download Sapio Sciences’s product data sheet to learn more about our lab solution.

Platform Features to Look For

Any application that’s built on top of the platform will inherit its implicit capabilities, so it’s important to choose wisely. Look for platforms that offer:

  • A fully configurable data model
  • Powerful searching
  • Advanced data visualizations
  • Configurable no-code business rules
  • Controlled permissions on data as well as features and functions
  • Full auditability
  • An intuitive user interface
  • Configurable data views
  • Unlimited role support and individual permissions
  • Extensible API that supports multiple languages

LIMS & ELN Software on a Single Platform

Ideally, an ELN will be built on the same platform. Not only will these two solutions share the same data model, but also the same underlying capabilities for enterprise-level search, visualizations, and analytics. With Sapio Sciences’s solutions, you can extend the platform to include your SDMS R&D efforts at your organization.

Why Choose Sapio LIMS?

Sapio LIMS is built on a powerful, scalable informatics platform, and combined with Sapio Seamless ELN, it will break down barriers to collecting and interpreting your data and processes, and accelerate your discovery efforts.

What’s Included in Sapio’s Lab Software Products?

Users will benefit from all key features mentioned above as well as:

  • Integrated chat
  • Permission-based access to data and features
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Science-aware capabilities, such as large and small molecule design
  • Registration capabilities

Sapio LIMS is the only LIMS software or ELN that supports true collaboration with concurrent workflow and experiment support, so scientists can work together and see each other’s experiment updates in real-time.