Before choosing a LIMS for your lab, you’ll want to consider the scope of your lab’s needs – as well as its budget. This will help facilitate knowing what to look for and how to choose.
Factors to consider when looking for a LIMS
It’s important to understand your own lab type and industry first.
Many of the LIMS on the market today are specifically designed for labs in certain industries such as pharmaceutical, biotech, life science development, and environmental, to name just a few. These LIMS are designed with features to specifically meet the needs of the labs in these industries. It would be an ineffective use of finances and resources, for example, to use a LIMS designed for QC testing in a life science lab.
Your lab’s need for flexibility will help you further narrow down your search. Some LIMS come with a range of out-of-the-box (OOB) functions, making them easy to use upon installation. While the most user-friendly design is preferable for some lab teams, a lab with specific unique needs and/or a strong IT department may prefer a LIMS that’s more customizable and configurable.
Budget is also an obvious but important consideration. While the ideal best LIMS may be (currently) out of your budget range, it’s possible that the next-best option is within your range. There is no such thing as a “perfect” LIMS – the important thing is having one that is configured to meet all of your lab’s essential needs.
Features to consider in a LIMS
Once you’ve narrowed your search based on your lab’s industry/type and other basic factors, you can focus on which features are most essential and helpful to have.
If your lab is life sciences or biotech, then inventory management and sample management features will be important to your lab’s productivity. A LIMS that includes robust freezer inventory management software will help your keep your lab inventory well organized and make it easy to find samples and reagents, saving your team time, energy, and financial resources.
If your lab is life sciences or biotech, then inventory management and sample management features will be important to your lab’s productivity. A LIMS that includes robust inventory management software will help your keep your lab inventory well organized and make it easy to find samples and reagents, saving your team time, energy, and financial resources.
Preparing for audits and other reports can be time-consuming when pulling data and records from multiple systems, so consider a LIMS that has reporting features built-in to streamline this process. The best LIMS should also include features that ensure your lab is meeting and complying with regulatory standards.
If bandwidth, scalability, and customization are all important to your lab (along with all the other criteria mentioned so far), then you may seriously want to consider a cloud LIMS that is a SaaS, rather than on-premise. Cloud-based software allows lab teams to more easily collaborate with other teams, facilitating an online community of users. A SaaS LIMS is also low-maintenance, continually (automatically) upgraded, reduces the need for space/infrastructure, and offers secure access at all times.
Finally, a less obvious but equally important feature to look for is reliable customer service support. The designers for the LIMS you’re using should be able to help you and your team troubleshoot whenever necessary and give the advice to make the most of all the features and functions the software has to offer.
Choosing the right LIMS begins with understanding your lab type and industry, and more specifically your lab’s needs, as well as budget. There is a wide variety of LIMS on the market today and while there is no definitive “best” LIMS some are more technologically advanced and adaptable for growth than others. A cloud-based LIMS may be the best choice for many lab teams, considering cloud LIMS are typically designed for growth and scalability, come with a wide range of features, and are user-friendly.
If you are in the life sciences or biotech sector, consider choosing Genemod to help run your lab. Genemod is emerging as the go-to, cutting-edge software choice for research labs and has a wide range of solutions including user-friendly inventory management, and cloud-based automated software that allows for real-time collaboration, along with other robust features that help lab teams stay on track with tasks.