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Top Features Readers Look for in LIMS

Find out our readers' most sought-after features from our latest survey results

by Shane Downie

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.

Top 6 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 configuration used by survey respondents:

Web based46%
Stand alone25%
Thin client/server5%

Most common LIMS applications reported by survey respondents:

Sample Management81%
User reporting73%
Instrument connection52%
Workflow automation40%
Regulatory management34%
Chemical inventory32%

Nearly 49% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new LIMS. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Upgrading to a new system
Setting up a new lab
First time purchase
Adding to an existing system

Top 10 Features/Factors Respondents Look for When Purchasing a LIMS:

Service and support82%
Vendor supported training65%
Easily upgraded63%
Easy data migration62%
Simple interface62%
Ease of installation59%
Powerful reporting functions54%
Vendor reputation44%

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

See results from previous surveys: