Whether your laboratory is expanding and adding new lines of business or performing locations, or you’re remaining relatively constant, your LIMS partner should be an ally in helping you navigate changes quickly and efficiently, and a resource when questions arise during everyday use of the system.
Often laboratories do not evaluate a potential LIMS partner’s commitment to ongoing support during the selection phase. Many LIMS vendors simply drop their system in and leave the rest to the lab. This is a recipe for disaster. And “support” does not just mean LIMS training before and during implementation. It should truly be ongoing; it’s just a reality that your laboratory team will have questions and will encounter technical issues as they use the system. You need a LIMS partner that a) prioritizes customer success, helping you maximize the value you get from your investment, and b) is responsive and willing to own and resolve technical issues - even if not their own - as they arise.
When Your Business Expands
One often overlooked instance when your laboratory will need in-depth support from your LIMS vendor is during a laboratory expansion. This could be when your lab adopts new instrumentation, implements new testing lines, or expands to new locations. While your LIMS partner should offer a product that meets your business and technical needs both now and in the future, it must also have the experience on staff to assist with the challenges of scaling of your business.
The process and tasks associated with expanding your laboratory with your LIMS vendor can closely resemble the original LIMS implementation phases. During the implementation phase of any expansion, whether a new EMR interface or a new location, your LIMS partner should work with you to refine your requirements. And by this point in your partnership, your vendor should know your business and laboratory well, which will expedite this process. However, an expansion of your business most likely introduces new business objectives, shifting priorities, and new requirements for your laboratory. Your LIMS partner must be flexible and responsive enough to adapt to this new reality.
Even with a smaller expansion of your lab, such as adding a new piece of instrumentation or LIMS functionality, it is not an overstatement to suggest that success or failure depends on the partnership with your LIMS vendor. And the importance of this partnership becomes even clearer when the scope of the expansion grows, such as bringing on a new service line or expanding to a second location. Your LIMS vendor and the laboratory team should have a well-thought-out plan for defining your requirements, kicking off the project, and implementing the new functionality. If not, even the smallest of expansions or upgrades will cost you significant time and money.
Finally, without proper planning, any expansion can lead to a disruption of laboratory workflows. There is no substitute for experience on the part of your LIMS vendor. A good LIMS partner will have years of experience working with laboratories that have gone through similar expansions and will have established processes to implement your changes efficiently and with as little impact on your laboratory team as possible.
ApolloLIMS Is In It for the Long Haul
Your lab needs a LIMS partner with a strong commitment to ongoing support and experience managing laboratory growth and expansion. ApolloLIMS cares about our customers’ success, and we have decades of experience, unparalleled support, and comprehensive tools and expertise to offer your laboratory.