The other day, I announced GeoMetrick Enterprises was named in the GHP 2016 International Life Sciences Awards. Since then, I’ve been madly going about sending out my press release about the event to various potential outlets for it. Meanwhile, I’ve had something unexpected happen.
Note: Before I get into that, and for those of you who send out press releases, you know what a crapshoot it is. You have to look for places that will take them and follow-up to see whether they actually do publish them and in what format. It’s quite a lot of work. It’s compounded by the fact that it’s difficult to know where to focus on in sending them out to unless you do it quite a lot. Even then, it’s not guaranteed that every press release will be published. Nuff said!
The People That Matter and Then Some
So, I’ve had many people write to me to congratulate me and even a few people commenting and “liking” the posts I’ve made about this. They’re the ones who matter and I appreciate ever person who took the time.
At the same time, as a small business, I do also know that this is my opportunity to drive business and that I’d better get all those other people to see it in order to help ensure coming business quarters are busy and profitable. But as I do it, I keep in-mind that I’ve gotten a lot of recognition, already, and of the best kind – the personal kind.
In any case, I have sent my press release out to my colleges from which I graduated. As one would expect, they have a tendency to publish this information in their alumni news. What blew me away, though, is that one of my schools actually wrote an article on me. They didn’t just take what I gave them but they went out and actually researched me in order to create a nice article:
Saunders Alum Recognized with 2016 International Life Sciences Award
Now, while I realize that it’s their job to do this and that they do benefit when they show alumni in a good light to attract students, donations and the rest, I was still stunned that they put the effort into it.
Also, having never had anyone write an article about me, before, it was a shock to see it. I was really touched, actually. Being normally a bit jaded about these types of things, I think I might have even gotten a bit misty-eyed about it.
Could There Be More Coming?
Let’s face it, what would be REALLY unexpected is that everyone with a project sees this and immediately drops everything to think, “Say, that GeoMetrick Enterprises must be so awesome that we absolutely have to use their services. Let’s call and do that, RIGHT NOW!” Well, I just bought a new phone so I’m ready for it. ;-)
So, for the usual pitch, if you’re using LabWare LIMS / ELN, Thermo Fisher Scientific SampleManager LIMS / LES or looking for help buying a LIMS or anything else LIMS-related, this is the right place to call. +1.781.365.0180
As soon as I got the notification about GeoMetrick Enterprises winning the 2016 GHP (Global Health & Pharma) Life Sciences Awards, I sent the notification out. I couldn’t contain myself! Meanwhile, I’ve spent a little more time looking at the winners.
Out of curiosity, I looked through all the winners to see who else in our part of the industry might have won. I don’t see anything. The only related company I see in there is Thermo Fisher Scientific, who won an award with their clinical diagnostics.
As usual, our laboratory informatics side of things is not necessarily at the forefront of people’s minds when they’re making nominations. I suppose that makes it just that much more exciting that GeoMetrick Enterprises won an award. In the awards, they do say it doesn’t matter how large or small you are and when you consider that some winners were companies like Thermo Fisher Scientific, one of the truly huge companies out there, and quite small companies like mine, they really did mean that.
I have just received notification that GeoMetrick Enterprises has won the 2016 International Life Sciences Awards from GHP (Global Health and Pharma) Magazine.
GeoMetrick Enterprises has been named “Best Laboratory Informatics Solutions Company – USA.”
Thank you to whomever it was that nominated GeoMetrick Enterprises. This remains a mystery, but I want you to know I appreciate you, whoever you are.
Note: Some of you might think you’d already seen this notice. However, the initial notice was premature. We weren’t yet supposed to announce this news but I didn’t know it, at the time. Now, it’s official.
In my recent post The Lack of the Ultimate System I was talking about my frustration that I do not have just one really great system option that I can give to customers who just need some basic system, where the problem is that, to actually “know” system is to implement it.
I think I’d mentioned that, last year, I’d learned the Autoscribe Informatics system. I never ended up getting a chance to implement it and, of course, have forgotten everything about it.
Not long ago, probably a month or so, I’d received the opportunity to learn the Thermo Fisher Scientific Nautilus LIMS . Here I have an opportunity I don’t get often – to learn a new system. However, making the time to learn these systems isn’t easy and then we all wonder whether we’ll learn the system then have no opportunity to implement and, as such, merely forget it.
Once you have learned a new system once or twice, before, it usually isn’t that it’s so difficult to do, but everyone has such limited time that even these “free” opportunities come at a cost.
As I’ve said, before, it’s not possible to be an expert at too many systems at one time. These days, my expertise is mainly with the LabWare LIMS / ELN and I do also work with the Thermo Fisher Scientific SampleManager LIMS / LES, as well as having a special relationship with the iVention LES system. Whenever you work to gain a new expertise, you have to consider whether to let something else go.
Questions to myself: Would I learn Nautilus and become an expert on that and replace my time with SampleManager after 30 or so years working with it? Would I drop the LabWare systems after 20 years of building myself to be an expert in those? You can imagine it’s not an easy choice. If I both learn Nautilus AND get an opportunity to implement it to actually “know” it, would it be the system I’ve been hoping to find for so long?
The bottom line is this: It’s a supply and demand situation. When customer don’t come to you with requests for you to work on specific systems it seems an easier choice to focus on something else. We sometimes bemoan the fact that we’re “throwing away” years of expertise and wonder if the market wouldn’t benefit from it. The problem is that, if the market isn’t buying that expertise, then the market doesn’t need that expertise from you.
It’s something I think we all have to remind ourselves of, from time-to-time.
I have a friend who does similar consulting to mine but that he works in the PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) sector. Years ago, he found a product that could handle any of the customers that came his way and with an associated cost that scaled well to the size of customer implementing the product. He altogether stopped doing product selections for customers and started telling them he had the solution for them. I’ve been envious of this every since he told me.
Too Much Programming and Tools That Are Not That Good
First of all, after all these years, I can’t believe how many of us are still spending most of our time programming here in the LIMS, ELN, LES industry. With all the hype about how “configurable” the systems we use are, too many of them are still too heavily based on doing programming to get them to work.
After all these years working with these systems, I had hoped that we would have better tools than we have. I had hoped we’d have some collection of “ultimate” systems that could be based on strong workflow engines that are easy to use, as well as configuration that is powerful.
Why This is So Difficult for Us
Some of the problem has to do with the complex data we work with. As just one example, creating product specifications will probably never be easy. There are tools that make it less painful, but none that can take away the fact that there are so many moving parts to them that have to be checked.
In addition, because we cross so many different industries and types of workflows, it can be challenging to test out a product in the various scenarios it would have to address.
On the other hand, other industries have complex data and workflow variety. To a certain extent, we’ve become good at making excuses for our lack of progress.
Why Product Selections Are So Hard to Do
Lately, I’ve had quite a few product selections come my way and I tend to ask people what systems they’ve worked on and what they liked and didn’t like about them. Here are some issues I continue to hear about these past systems people have worked with, and they usually mean brands that are still selling and popular when they mention these problems:
- They’re too complicated to learn and manage for the company to eventually be able to manage the system, internally, and in a cost-effective manner.
- The systems are so complicated they require support from IT-type teams as large as the scientific groups they service. This is a huge expense.
- Some of the products are not powerful enough to handle any real variety in the workflows.
I would like to be able to approach the issue of product selections the way my PLM-based friend does – that there are some good tools that can show they can handle the majority of the configuration issues we could throw at them and just start using those solutions, exclusively. In addition, and maybe I’m just dreaming, here, but it would fantastic if they systems had great tools and documentation to go along with them.
Unfortunately, if there is such a product, I doubt I’ll find it. I can imagine that the response when I post this is that software vendors will contact me to try to give me a demo of their system. As I always say, you can’t “know” a system by a demo – you can only know it by using it. And, since there’s limited time in all our days, there are a tiny number of products any of us will ever really “know.”
A few weeks ago, I announced that GeoMetrick Enterprises had expanded its services offerings: GeoMetrick Enterprises Adds Services: Welcome to Dr. Slomczynski Today, I want to announce that those offerings now have their own blog: HPLC’N You
I am not going to combine the blogs to feed into each other’s posts, directly. What I mean is this: if you look to the right-hand-side of one blog, you’ll see the posts from the other blog. You’re welcome to read them and if you think the other one will interest you, you must subscribe to it. This way, you can subscribe to just the blog that interests you, which could be both, depending what work you do. But others who aren’t interested in both topics won’t be forced to read the posts from both blogs.
As such, you’ll now see the “HPLC’N You” posts to the right of this blog post but will not be notified of them by the subscription service for this blog nor from LinkedIn updates to this blog.
We all like to get feedback. It helps give us a sense of how we’re doing. I’ve been writing this blog since August 2009 and had been writing my newsletter for years before that, as well. As you might expect, I’ve received some amount of feedback in that time. Today, I’m going to share that feedback so that anyone that is curious about these types of things can compare with their own opinions.
I actually get few complaints but you wouldn’t expect a lot because, and let’s be honest, here, this is a post about LIMS, ELN, LES and other laboratory informatics products. Most people who don’t agree probably stop subscribing or just trash the post. Most of this isn’t that revolutionary issues that would cause wide protests.
But with that, over the years, here are the complaints I think I have received most often (plus my responses). I could spend time actually quantifying that but I’m not going to spend the time on that for the purpose of this post:
- Vendors who ask why I don’t write about their product(s) (Response: I only write about what I know – if I don’t know your product well-enough to use it, I’m not going to write about it).
- Vendors who ask why I DO write about their product (Response: As I just mentioned, I write about what I know).
- People in general who ask why I don’t write about and/or promote Open Source (Response: I only write about what I know; I work with the so-called COTS systems and that’s what I write about).
- People in general who complain that I write my posts in a way that grabs the most attention possible (Response: Well, of course I do!).
- Vendors who complain the blog is too customer-oriented (Response: I make money from selling to the customers; of course I’m going to write posts that I think will interest the customers!).
Feedback, In General
The customers and consultants reading this blog and the newsletter I used to write tend to be the ones writing directly to me to praise the posts rather than make complaints. Since this blog is written more for them, to begin with, it makes sense they have a tendency to get the most value from what is written, here, and to praise it. I mean to say that if you write for the people who tend to agree with you then you will tend to get more positive than negative feedback not to say that I’m such a terrific writer, necessarily.
Thus, most of the feedback I receive has to do with specific newsletter articles or blog posts. Usually, when someone agrees with me or thinks I’ve expressed their opinion on a matter quite well, they will write to me to compliment me and tell me what a great piece I’ve written. Of course, I do enjoy those. :-)
Even though I have many, many people from the software vendors in the industry subscribing to this blog, overall, it’s the customers and other consultants who are struggling to get their work done, struggling to keep up with all the acronyms the software vendors keep throwing at us, struggling to make their projects stay in budget and deliver great value. That is what I do on a daily basis, myself, and I suspect that it’s the others like me are most likely the ones reading this blog for that content.
The bottom line is that it’s the end customers I want to connect with. I want to get them to buy my services to do product selections, implement their LabWare LIMS / ELN or other systems, and get work in general from them. So, of course I find it a good thing that they seem to be the great readership of this.
For those customers reading this, you can contact me, right now, at Gloria@GeoMetrick.com or +1.781.365.0180 and talk about great product selection services for your LIMS, ELN or LES system, as well as providing services on the LIMS, ELN or LES that you currently have, such as your LabWare implementation. You don’t need to be here in Ann Arbor, Michigan, US for those services. GeoMetrick Enterprises works with customers from all over the world! (seriously, I rarely have had local customers, regardless where my office has been)