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July 12, 2021

Digital tools to manage laboratory resources

digital lab
lab of the future
lab management
laboratory management software

All-in-one laboratory management tools pull all tasks involved with managing a modern laboratory into one interface, using powerful software and easy-to-use interfaces to automate as many tasks as possible. These tools are centered on optimizing the use of equipment and resources to improve laboratory efficiency and enable scientists to get more ground-breaking work done. 

Booking and scheduling 

Effective laboratory management software should be the central hub for all laboratory equipment, controlling its access, usage and maintenance. A strong set of rules should define the booking parameters, including up and downtime, user access rights and conditions of use, such as evidence of training. Many laboratory management systems act as a central repository for information about equipment too, with manuals and protocols uploaded and tagged against individual machines. Some systems also allow maintenance schedules to be programmed in, with evidence of testing appended for a complete audit trail. 

Laboratory management systems provide easy-to-use booking in just a few clicks and with individual access rights based on roles and responsibilities, only those authorized to use equipment will be able to book it. 

Communication and collaboration 

Laboratory management systems are a central space for communication and collaboration, enabling users to add notes about the equipment or send announcements to groups or individual members. If planned maintenance is needed or there is a delay in receiving critical consumables, it can all be logged in this central place. 

Optimization and tracking analysis 

To fully optimize workflows, laboratory managers must be able to track equipment use over time. Laboratory management systems often include a real-time dashboard functionality with the ability to drill down into individual equipment records. The revenue associated with a piece of equipment can be tracked over time, under-utilized resources can be flagged and equipment issues can be identified and resolved. 

The most advanced laboratory management software also includes the ability to create contracts, allocate budgets and generate purchase orders and invoices for external users directly from the system.

Why does every lab need an equipment management system? Read more about it here.

Top requirements for choosing the right laboratory management tool

With so many types of digital systems available, it can be difficult to cut through the clutter and find the tool that’s right for your business. Take time to evaluate several systems and include as many stakeholders as possible to compare and contrast the benefits of each. Laboratory management software should:

Be simple to use – with intuitive interfaces that require as few clicks as possible to complete a task. 

Dramatically reduce the administrative workload for both scientists and managers – leaving team members available for value-added work. 

Manage multiple, even geographically remote, laboratories in one system – for complete consistency and collaboration. 

Enable better use of resources across multiple laboratories. 

Connect team members, even if they are working remotely. 

Be fully integrative – merging with other laboratory software and transferring data seamlessly. 

Save you time and money by efficiently managing administration tasks.

Get the top tips for choosing the right laboratory management software.

Get the full guide here.

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