What is the LIMS system?


LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System), sometimes referred to as LIS (Laboratory Information System) lub LMS (Laboratory Management System) is a laboratory information management system that offers key functionality to support the processes of the modern laboratory. LIMS is a concept that is evolving as the chemical industry and laboratory demand for IT solutions evolves.Despite this, a set of key functionalities is defined that define the standard of the LIMS concept. These functionalities can be divided into five phases of the laboratory process:

  • receipt and registration of samples together with customer data,
  • allocation, scheduling and tracking of analytical work associated with samples,
  • processing and quality assurance related to samples and laboratory equipment,
  • recording data related to sample analyses,
  • reviewing, validating and summarising sample data for reporting and further analysis.

Sample management

A key function of the LIMS is sample management. The function is usually initiated when the sample is delivered to the laboratory and registered in the LIMS. Some software, such as LabMaster, allows the laboratory to be supported in earlier phases such as registering a sample order, supporting the sampler with sampling methodologies, possible fixation methods, the amount of sample to be collected, sampling protocols and the location of the collection execution. Sample management is also supported by the identification of collected samples by means of barcodes, which are generated by the system, printed on self-adhesive labels and affixed to sample vessels. When a sample is received in the laboratory, all field measurement data and descriptions are recorded in the system to assess the condition of the sample.

Analysis management

Another key function of the LIMS system is the scheduling and execution of analyses of registered samples. The software supports laboratory staff in the methodology of performing analyses and generating reports.

Configuration management

LIMS – type systems provide the ability to manage laboratory procedures and methodologies and assign them to the customer service process, sampling execution and analysis performance.

Workflow management

The LIMS contains mechanisms to support the correct circulation of documents in the various stages of laboratory processes, ensuring the correct format and content of the documents produced and access to documents by laboratory staff.

Customer service

Modern LIMS-type systems also contain elements of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems for managing customer service and laboratory resources.
This includes functions related to the handling of enquiries, quotations, orders and complaints, which are part of the customer service process of a research laboratory, and the service delivery processes of laboratory employees.

Laboratory equipment management

LIMS incorporates mechamisms for supervising laboratory equipment, offering functions such as equipment logging, maintenance scheduling and equipment validation. It also keeps a record of equipment maintenance activities performed.