Data Management and Productivity Improvements in the Laboratory
Many laboratories within the dietary supplement industry are moving to LIMS systems with good reason! They can support increased productivity and reduce waste meaning a more lean approach to laboratory activities.
What is a LIMS system?
LIMS stands for Laboratory Information Management System. It is a software that manages data generation, analysis and reporting. It helps laboratories to improve and align by running more efficiently. A LIMS system does this by automating tasks or interfacing with laboratory instrumentation. A LIMS system can support better management of resources by allocating testing or inventory management of supplies and regents as well as reducing paper based systems which lead to easier laboratory management.
The dietary supplement industry is changing. With new requirements and regulations being added (such as the recently released August, 2019 Guidance for Industry detailing information about conversion of units for nutrition and supplement facts labels) or new markets and regulations, a laboratory can support regulatory compliance for sample management, data traceability and the regulatory hot topic from adjacent industries, data integrity. A LIMS system logs dates, times, samples, testing information and results attributed to users with readable audit trails all driven by controlled user access within the system.
A LIMS system allows for automation of data capture and improved communications and data visibility between departments within the company. This means information is available real-time reducing time wasted on ineffective communication models such as email or phone which provides not only benefits to the organization, in delivering of information but also benefits to the laboratory in sample management, analysis and data handling.
The laboratory can utilize resource allocation and work planning such as scheduling maintenance and calibrations of instruments, manage testing priorities and managing inventory and ordering of consumables and reagents meaning improved planning within the laboratory.
A LIMS system is an exciting prospect to improve life in the laboratory for analysts and supporting the organization with clear communication and regulatory compliance.