Dispatches from Pittcon 2018 in Orlando

LabVantage: Purpose-built LIMS packages save time and money

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Robert Voelkner, VP sales and marketing at LabVantage Solutions
Robert Voelkner, VP sales and marketing at LabVantage Solutions
LabVantage Solutions has unveiled purpose-built LIMS packages to allow labs to go live faster and at a lower cost than previously possible.

They bundle industry specific software with features tailored to meet the needs of customers in industries such as pharmaceutical, food and beverage and diagnostics.

All LabVantage Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) systems share certain core configurations needed by most labs.

The food and beverage package includes features intended to automate the lifecycle of QA/QC labs, incubation and microbial testing and sample compositing.

Pre-configured for particular use

Robert Voelkner, VP sales and marketing, said packaged solutions make it a more attractive approach to deploying the system.

“It has been pre-configured for a particular intended use and we are able to deploy that rapidly to the laboratory at a low cost and eliminate the risk normally associated with a LIMS deployment. We are bundling in training so the customer understands how to use and maintain system,” ​he told FoodQualityNews at Pittcon.

“One of the things we found is that every time we would go into a food lab there were certain common requirements that we were seeing over and over again. Historically, we ended up implementing those from scratch every single time.

Ram Velidi, president at LabVantage Solutions

"Scientists and lab managers understand the value and importance of an enterprise LIMS system with optimized functionality. LabVantage packaged solutions are an economical, smart choice that can reduce risk, costs, and implementation time."

“Instead of doing that every time we did that ahead of time and we deliver it already configured for that intended use. We also removed things out of the system that are not specific to food and beverage that they do not require.

“Included in the system are things like for lot and batch testing processes, we configure in our stability study management for shelf life testing and our environmental monitoring capabilities so we can do micro testing throughout the manufacturing process.”

All packages include software, services and training delivered at a fixed price. Services include master data creation and site process mapping.

Save implementation cost and time

LabVantage claims customers can save as much as 85% of the implementation costs compared to a standard approach.

“The traditional approach used to be we would engage with the client, we would have a series of workshops and meetings to document the requirements​,” said Voelkner.

“We would create functional requirement specifications and based on that we would then go ahead and start building and configuring the system and delivering it to the customer, which had a time and materials cost to it that was quite expensive,” ​he said.

“By doing all that upfront and assuming the customer can take what we give them out of the box we have eliminated that cost, expense and time from the process. When we engage with the client we are doing a gap analysis to what they need to what we can deliver. Filling in some of those gaps and going live from that point.”

Voelkner said it takes the enterprise LIMS and configures it for the intended use so what is in the package is a subset of total functionality.

“For example, they want to move into the research side, they want to add electronic library notebook (ELN), that is a core component of our LIMS that can be enabled and made available to them as well,” ​he said.

“Scalability wise, we have customers that start with just a few users and others we support that have more than 6,000 users, so it can grow. Over half of our headcount is dedicated to deploying and supporting our customers now and when they upgrade and expand in the future​.

It is a traditional perpetual licence, where they are going to purchase a right to use the system, so it is theirs forever. Then there are implementation services and an ongoing maintenance contract.”

Data migration and legacy systems

The LabVantage integrated LIMS/ELN and laboratory execution systems (LES) platform is web browser-based to support hundreds of users and interface with instruments and other enterprise systems.

It enables companies to go faster in the R&D cycle, improve product quality, achieve accurate record-keeping and comply with regulatory requirements.

Voelkner said in most cases labs will have some legacy system or electronic record-keeping in place.

“Almost every one of our projects has some level of data migration from the legacy package into the LIMS. Some clients divorce themselves from the legacy system, they say lets leave that as an archive and have a fresh look, others want to be able to bring that legacy data into the application,” ​he said.

“Traditionally a lot of food organisations either had no LIMS and used paper records. A lot of people have been using and still use Excel as there LIMS or they had a legacy system that wasn’t able to be modernised or keep up to date with what their needs were.

“A lot of this has been driven by the Food Safety Modernization Act because companies and labs have to have the proper documentation and compliance in place.”

Size doesn’t change the need as sites have the same requirements in many cases, said Voelkner.

“A multi-site global deployment works well for us as we are browser based and the server usually gets hosted in the cloud. The packaged solution allows the smaller organisation that didn’t have the same budget or IT staff available to them, now they can afford it as the price point is lower,” ​he said.

“Cloud-hosting eliminates the need for them to host it internally and we provide managed services so we will administrate the system for the customer as well.”

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