The LIMS cost benefit analysis is something we talk about doing before buying a system as if it really exists. It’s not as real as we pretend it is.
A recent customer wanted to get some general LIMS cost benefit analysis numbers rather than going through the process to do one. They wanted a general idea what types of cost savings were possible. They also wanted to know what areas of the company were most likely to benefit.
There are multitudes of articles that discuss what to look for when doing a cost benefit analysis. Some of these analyses are for a LIMS cost benefit analysis, others for an ELN or LES. There are almost none that give numbers that customers or software vendors generate. Try looking for a presentation that gives some general numbers and you’ll struggle to find them.
In addition, when you do find them, it’s sometimes difficult to know which ones might apply to your situation and how closely.
Most customers don’t do a LIMS, ELN or LES cost benefit analysis before buying a system. For those customers who do a cost benefit analysis, they’re not that interested in sharing their numbers. In addition, the numbers are not often flattering.
One project claimed their ROI (Return on Investment) did end up being positive. That means that, over the time they owned that system, they did not end up losing money on it, considering what they put into it. Apparently, they calculated this over fifteen years. So, just to be clear, it took them fifteen years and they merely broke even on their system.
If you do find numbers, especially if you’re at a conference watching a presentation, beware of numbers that sound great. Most of the time, initial numbers aren’t actually very good but those people measuring leave out a lot of the ongoing costs. Sometimes, it’s because they don’t know how to measure them. However, I’ve been in presentations where I was 100% certain that the vendor presenter was trying too hard to sell their system or the customer presenter was trying too hard to get someone to offer them some type of directorship position after their great “success.”