Emergent Labs are finally on the same footing as Established Labs and installing LIMS
Emergent labs do what established labs do but with a difference. They achieve results with fewer resources. As they grow their business, they need better tools. But the tools they need are expensive and therefore out of reach for most emergent labs especially the LIMS software. And that is the problem I was assigned to solve.
I was given the brief to design the LIMS software for emergent labs and propel their operation to the next level at an affordable cost. And our race to deliver Emergent Lab software had started.
This is the story of how our team at LTech went about designing LIMS software for emergent labs.
What are the challenges of Emergent Labs?
Emergent labs have certain distinguishing characteristics. Typically they are run by dedicated and ambitious people pre-occupied with day to day operation, leaving no time or budget for implementing any LIMS software.
By the very nature of being emergent, their needs are dynamic, they are evolving and they are preoccupied with growth. That is more the reason that they should use better LIMS tools rather than relying on spreadsheet, pencil and paper. This is easier said than done because Emergent Labs also have budgetary constraints. Most LIMS systems are expensive and implementation is time consuming.
That is where I was challenged to design a system for the emergent labs which can be cost effective, quick to give result and offer extensibility as the business grows. That is how my marathon run started to design LIMS software for emergent labs.
How our research team at Ltech met the challenge?
As the Research and Development Director of LTech (an established supplier of LIMS software), I was instructed to comply with the following brief:
Design a LIMS software which must be affordable (meaning implementation cost below $ 10,000) taking the user from start to finish. That should include hosting infrastructure, software, and installation. The emergent lab must be able to use the software immediately and derive productivity gain from word go.
What was our architecture?
From our experience of implementing large scale and complex LIMS, we concluded that for emergent labs, our architecture must be compact and it must deal with all essential components of LIMS but with a difference. It should be extensible. To achieve this goal, we must have an expansion bus around the core product so that as the business grows, we must be able to add more functionality simply by plugging in additional modules.
That resulted in the LIMS product architecture as shown above. The core LIMS for emergent labs is at the centre connected with extensible modules for the future growth.
The Final Roll-Out
Emergent Lab version of the software is now ready for delivery. Looking back, we have achieved a breakthrough. We have finally arrived at an optimal architecture; starting with a constellation of core products to be used immediately and an expansion hub to grow with the business, making the product future-proof.
And it has been well worth the effort. Now the emergent labs (just like their established peers) can implement LIMS system with full knowledge that their expansion hub can take them far, very far with low initial investment, and they can be productive not in months or weeks but within a day or two.
Dr Pramod Pandey is Research and Development Director at LTech, an established LIMS software supplier for Labs. Dr Pandey holds more than thirty patents in the field of software engineering and business transformation.