What is a Smart Laboratory?

Michal Frenkiel

Michal Frenkiel

What is a smart laboratory?


Dec 2020

On the verge of 2021, it is by now pretty obvious that pen and paper are for stone age labs. Developing your own LIMS is so 2010. However, lab managers that want to take their lab into the future and become a smart laboratory, should look for solutions that will help them get there. No doubt that more and more organizations both academic and industry labs understand the need to invest in data management solutions and research software that will assist them to improve productivity by refining research and logistic processes, data management and compliance with regulations.

Deploying research management solutions

Managers now realize that adapting high-end laboratory informatics solutions is a must and the return-on-investment (ROI) from doing so is becoming clear to upper-level management seeking to increase productivity. They understand that there is a lot to gain from becoming a smart laboratory. This means that various systems in the organization need to “talk” with each other rather than work separately while data is transformed manually and then susceptible to human errors. Automating processes, integrating systems and centralizing data to eliminate data silos will reduce costs and human errors, save time, improve compliance with regulatory requirements and allow better team collaboration. In addition, when data is centralized in one place, managers should strive to create dashboards that provide insights that drive better decisions based on the full picture. No doubt that one of the things that happened due to COVID19 pandemic is a focus change in many organizations when the fact that they need to also focus on reducing costs and becoming more efficient dawned on them. More organizations internalized that implementing a research management solution that will integrate capabilities of ELN, LIMS, laboratory informatics, project and team collaboration in one system will help them be more efficient and productive.

Smart laboratory and ROI

Someone once told me that ROI is not a good word to use with research labs. I think it’s no longer true. Managers should ask themselves when implementing a new system- what will be the ROI from this system. May it be higher productivity or less time spent due to human errors and automated processes. Just imagine how much time your team spends on manually entering data (not to mention the human errors involved in manual data entry), writing reports, manually documenting experiments. Implementing a data research management system that automatically integrates data, automates processes, facilitates workflow creation and, in addition, provides insights, will save you time and money and increase your ROI. For example, after implementing Labguru in their lab, Charlie Britten from ADC Therapeutics reported that “ The number of samples that can be analyzed has vastly increased, as the lab team can write the experiments and results in less than one hour. I estimate that we can save a day per week by using the ELN rather than having to search, scan, print and compile everything together in a printed lab notebook.”

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