Implementing the Perfect LIMS for a Contract Laboratory



Contract laboratories operate in a wide variety of industries, carrying out a diverse range of tests. However they all have similar, but not identical, requirements from both laboratory information management and business management perspectives. A recent webinar, entitled: ‘Implementing the Perfect LIMS for a Contract Laboratory’, is available to view at: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6796727175382553347.

This highly informative 25-minute presentation covers three key issues:

  • What are contract laboratories?
  • Why are their needs different?
  • How does Matrix Gemini LIMS meet these needs?

Whether industry-specific or multi-disciplinary in nature, contract laboratories can often have both internal and external customers submitting samples for tests. The webinar not only addresses how data can be managed by the laboratory, but also the additional services that the LIMS can provide. These can range from the automatic generation of quotations to the provision of a web portal that can allow customers direct access to the status of their samples as well as accessing results as tests are completed without having to wait for a final report for all samples. The Matrix Gemini web capabilities even allow customers to register their samples in advance and print off bar-code labels to attach to the samples before they are sent in.

More than a LIMS

Matrix Gemini can offer contract laboratories much more than the day to day management of laboratory workflows. It also provides the functionality for management of a variety of activities essential to running the business, such as the creation of quotations, order booking, allocation of appropriate prices, generation of results, customer reports and the production of invoices, either directly or in conjunction with a corporate accounts system.

Key to Matrix Gemini’s flexibility for use by contract laboratories is its configurability. The built-in configuration tools allow every aspect of the LIMS to be adapted to fit the particular process flow of the application – and that applies to the business components as well. All of this is possible without the need to modify any of the software’s underlying code. This gives the added bonus that the system can be easily modifed to suit changing operating procedures, or to hook up new instruments, for example. The fully configurable pricing part of the system allows the monitoring of profitability right down to the test level.

The 'Out-of-the-Box' Contract Laboratory LIMS Solution

Matrix Gemini can be supplied as an out of the box solution with typical contract laboratory process flow requirements from quotation generation and management, to sample registration through to invoicing, all of which can be configured to suit the specific laboratory. A ‘Maintenance control panel’ allows easy access to a host of useful facilities for contract laboratories. These include the specifications of tests and acceptable measurement limits, grouping of tests into test packages and customer details including any discounts and special requirements that may apply. This can be linked to an ERP system.

The webinar shows step by step how to create and Issue a quotation. Once the quotation has been accepted Matrix Gemini can turn the quote into a ‘live’ job ready for the samples to be received in the laboratory and issue an automated email to the customer on receipt of those samples with the associated job number. The process of assigning tests and recording results to a job using runsheets is also demonstrated. There is also the chance to see how a personal log-in to the web portal can allow customers to access information on the status of samples as they pass through the laboratory and all test results once they have been validated.