Sometimes, the keywords people use to find my blog make me think of a topic to write about. Yesterday, someone looked up “lab looks like after lims.” If the questions is, “What does the lab look like after LIMS?, “ then my answer is that it looks exactly the same since LIMS is software and you can’t “see” it.
No, no, I’m just kidding, here. Seriously it depends what you mean, and the question applies about equally to LIMS, ELN, SDMS, CDS, or anything else.
First of all, if you took your paper system and implemented it, your lab will probably degrade in its efficiency. Companies sometimes make this mistake when they buy software, and it has a negative effect on the labs. The reason you buy a piece of software is to improve on the paper system, not replicate it. If you’re not going to improve on what you have, it’s not worth the money. Plus, a paper system has different decision points than an automated system. They just aren’t the same and trying to make one work like the other is painful.
On the other hand, you can see a variety of changes when you implement new software and you do not try to beat it into a paper model. Some people think that you won’t change your process when you implement software, since the process is primary and the software merely supports it. This isn’t true. Most labs have inefficiency somewhere in their process. It’s common to notice and fix some when you’re doing the workflow analysis before implementing your new software.
Or, some companies really intend to make a better process out of the entire project. As opposed to merely implementing software, they are looking to make big improvements, which the software will support. These companies probably get the best ROI (Return On Investment) from their software.