The LIMS industry economy is the topic of many a discussion, lately. Various people have different projections on where we’re headed for the rest of 2020.

LIMS Industry Economy Discussions

People wonder about jobs, about cut-backs, about production, and about all sorts of topics. As such, the LIMS industry economy as a topic fairly regularly pops into discussions that weren’t intended to necessarily focus on that.

Even within that, there’s a wide variety of situations within the industry. As such, there’s no specific answer with regard to how the economy will affect specific businesses. While few companies seems to take a doom-and-gloom approach to this none are exactly hopping with glee, either.

Some Thoughts on Hiring

In the current LIMS industry economy changed, hiring has gone up-and-down in the past couple of months. Many companies have entirely stopped their hiring processes. Some of them have merely postponed hiring those positions,. But others have actually cut those open positions and decided they’re not hiring them, at all, at least for the near future. Yet there are even others that are still working on their hiring processes, but doing it more slowly and merely trying to finish some early steps of weeding-out the candidates without getting to the final hiring steps.

At the same time, there are some companies that do truly still need certain positions filled and have not stopped their hiring processes. On top of that, some of them still insist the final interview be done in-person and on-site. These seem to be those that can find applicants that can drive to the interview, as hotels are open, at least in some states.

And for all the brouhaha about positions going remote, most positions sound as if they’ll soon return to being on-site. There are a few companies that are hiring people as remote workers, for the time being. But that often comes with the understanding they’ll have to move to be close to the site once everything reopens. However, these seem few and far-between with regard to full-time W-2 positions.

Then, On Consulting

As for consulting, I’m not clear if there are actually more companies doing on-site project work or not. For people who do the type of work that I do in implementation, it can typically be done off-site. As such, I don’t think I see enough of the other types of work to comment on whether anything has really changed. In our industry, remote work has been around for a long time. Thus, it’s possible that most work that could be done remotely is already being done that way.

Some of the services groups are wondering if they’ll need to cut back on people. Yet others are talking about other potential ways to cut back, such as cutting salaries.

More on the Survival of Services Groups

Whatever happens, the large groups won’t stop being large, but might possibly be leaner. Small groups can’t afford to cut back too much on their actual staff or they’ll no longer exist.

But, with that, for those projects that have become bloated, where too often the solution is to add more people rather than finding the root cause, those projects might end up having to work harder to find root cause, now. These groups might be given the ultimatums to either fix the issue and become more efficient or to be replaced.

Getting Small or Being Small?

With these changes to the LIMS industry economy, the smaller the services groups are, the more likely they will be to be able to do more work with fewer people, to begin with. That’s no guarantee. I’m just pointing-out that it’s more likely to be the case. It’s not that there aren’t small services groups that are as unproductive as some of the big ones, but they’re less likely to exist.

The reason is this – the smaller you are, the more reason you have to give a customer to use your services. As a small company, myself, I will just tell you that that is usually the case. These days, customers tend to value what they think is the security of using the largest firms. That is, unless they’re have a good reason to do something else. One such reason is that smaller firms can often be more flexible and also more productive.

Note: Regarding what I said in the previous paragraph, I do occasionally get a new customer merely because I’m so flexible in the way I deliver services and in the options I give them. I tend to think other small services groups probably would say the same. Big groups typically can’t or won’t do this. While it helps to be an expert, it doesn’t always hurt to be nimble. See LabWare LIMS, We’re the Experts for examples.

Options in the New LIMS Industry Economy

In this new LIMS industry economy, I have to wonder if the smaller firms will be in a better position to take on some of the consulting work that remains or will newly arise. Of course, I’m biased being so small, myself, but I’m serious in this question. I don’t mean that I think my phone will start ringing off the hook with new customers. What I mean is that I won’t be surprised if some of even the biggest customers at least rethink the bloated projects they’ve supported for so long.

Another opportunity is for the customers, themselves. If there are some layoffs, customers might hire some of these people and do their projects, themselves and with fewer people. If they have all the management, project management, LIMS and other skills, already, this could be an economical plan. Pre-virus, there seemed to be an increasing number of customers looking for people who could manage global LIMS projects. Post-virus, maybe that will continue to be a rising trend – one person who does a LOT of tasks.

LIMS Industry Economy and the Budget

Where will the budgets end up? I don’t think we’ll truly know the impact of current events until we progress further into the year. In a lot of cases, I’m finding that, with budgets already set, work continues. I think when companies start to roll into their next budget year is when we’ll find out what the true effects are going to be.

However, I have heard that some customers buying entirely new systems have decided to wait. Possibly they’re uncertain if they’ll get money in the next budget year to finish the project. Maybe they’re working with reduced staff and can’t commit to use their time for a new implementation. There are all types of reasons why this might be the case.