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2014 LIMS User Survey Results

A Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) serves as the interface to a laboratory’s data, instruments, analyses, and reports. For many analytical laboratories, a LIMS is an important investment that assists management in evaluating the efficiency of the laboratory’s operations and reducing costs.

Trevor Henderson, PhD

Trevor Henderson BSc (HK), MSc, PhD (c), is the creative services director at Lab Manager.  He has more than two decades of experience in the fields of scientific...

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Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a LIMS

  1. Why does your organization need a LIMS? You and your staff should come up with a cost-benefit list to help you decide if a LIMS is worth investing in.
  2. What are your current user requirements and how do you expect those to change five to ten years down the road? Make a list. If you expect your needs to change, a flexible LIMS is likely a good choice. Requirements can include labeling, sample registration, etc.
  3. Do you need a consultant to help you decide whether a LIMS is a good fit for you or not? Examine the pros and cons and make sure you properly research potential consultants.
  4. How does the company’s LIMS differ from other products out there? Make sure you do your homework and phone each company you’re interested in. If they can’t answer your questions, they probably aren’t a good fit for you.
  5. Ask for fact sheets, features lists and case studies from the company. This literature is a starting point for picking the best LIMS for you. A product demonstration is essential.

Types of LIMS installation configurations used by survey respondents:

Client/server 50%
Web based 27%
Stand alone 17%
Thin client/server 3%
Other 2%

LIMS usage as reported by survey respondents:

Sample management 20%
User reporting 16%
QA/QC 15%
Workflow automation 12%
Instrument connection 12%
Regulatory management 10%
Invoicing 7%
Chemical inventory 7%
Other 1%

Nearly 24% of respondents plan on purchasing a LIMS in the next year. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Upgrading existing LIMS
 LIMS Survey Graph
Workflow automation
Sample management
Setting up a new lab
Addition to existing systems, increase capacity
Regulatory management
User reporting
Web-based access

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a LIMS:

Ease of use 100%
Service and support 100%
Security 98%
Versatility 98%
Up time 97%
Customization 96%
Price 95%
Ease of installation 93%
Scalability 91%
Web-based access 90%

For more information on LIMS, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit 

See the most recent results here