Earlier this year, I was writing fairly regularly about what looked like it might have been a SampleManager resource shortage. Either that was just one of those blips of sudden demand. Then, again, maybe all those needs were filled because now that it is six months or so later in the year, I am not getting many SampleManager calls.
Not that this is particularly scientific, but I tend to rely on the phone calls, e-mails and hits to my web-site and blog to determine which products look to be rather popular. Even then, I only use it for my own purposes to determine what markets to push on the hardest to find new customers.
Overall, I tend to get a lot of hits for the LabWare LIMS. That makes sense because that is the LIMS is have written most about. The more you write about something, the more times that people are looking for that that they will end up finding you. However, recently, I have noticed I’m getting a lot more hits for StarLIMS than any other LIMS. I hardly ever mention StarLIMS, so this makes me wonder if there happens to be some sudden demand in that market. Since I have no real contact with that market, I have no idea why there is a sudden rush to search the internet for that product.
As for e-mail and phone calls, I’m suddenly getting more contacts for Thermo Informatics’ Nautilus product. Since I don’t work with that product, I don’t happen to know why that would happen, either.
Even if I were in either of those markets, for those that read my posts when SampleManager had a sudden demand spike, earlier this year, even with my contacts and knowledge of that market, I still didn’t have any real idea why it spiked when it did. Others I spoke with who know that market well didn’t know, either.
In the end, sometimes we see these demand spikes and we will probably never know why they happen. As an industry, we can come up with a lot of possibilities for them, but we won’t know the true answer and, as such, can’t always figure out how to deal with them.
On a related note, as I always tell people who ask: if you have a LIMS that I haven’t used and you get into a situation where you need a resource and can’t find one, with my years of experience both with LIMS and also with taking on new LIMS that I haven’t worked with, before, this would not be that hard for me. I have experience with products that require lots of heavy programming and also configuration, so it is not that I would find myself with some product to use that is going to require skills that I don’t already have. It is cost-effective from the standpoint that I can come up-to-speed a lot faster than people new to LIMS or those who have not yet had to learn their second LIMS would be able to do.