6 Reasons CRO – Contract Research Organizations Need Cloud-Based LIMS

6 Reasons CRO - Contract Research Organizations Need Cloud-Based LIMS

6 Reasons CRO – Contract Research Organizations Need Cloud-Based LIMS

Scientific industries are challenged to keep up with global demands for safe and effective pharmaceuticals, chemicals, medical devices, and other scientific advances. Contract Research Organization (CRO) have become increasingly common to meet the outsourcing needs of laboratories. In fact, they are now critical partners in ensuring the safety and efficacy of a variety of scientific innovations and developments.

What is a Contract Research Organization (CRO)?

Although many CROs partner with smaller companies that do not have their own laboratories, some provide specific laboratory functions for large pharmaceutical companies and research institutions. CROs work with many types of organizations, including foundations, universities, and public entities. These organizations benefit from the partnership through flexible resources and significant cost reductions.

The ultimate compromise for the high performance CRO is to accommodate a wide range of clients. Many are finding solutions by using a cloud-based Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).

There are four main functions for CROs that typically use LIMS:

  • Release of finished product
  • Raw material release
  • Stability studies
  • Environmental monitoring

Many lab managers and other CRO leaders are now leveraging innovations in cloud-based LIMS technology to complete these core functions. Here are 6 ways CROs (and their clients) benefit from using a cloud-based or software-as-a-service LIMS.

6 Reasons CRO - Contract Research Organizations Need Cloud-Based LIMS

Ability to Control a Variety of Processes

Because CROs have numerous clients, any LIMS would require a great deal of adaptability. For example, different external organizations undoubtedly have varying expectations regarding how they want their samples processed. A cloud-based LIMS would introduce a general level of control to accommodate these different needs.

Although an audit by regulators could happen, an external audit by a client can really put the organization under scrutiny. Unlike an internal audit where the CRO can identify a problem, obtain monetary and leadership support, and implement a solution, a client audit has a significant impact on the organization’s ability to attract and retain clients. The client will determine future business with the CRO based on whether specifications and requirements can be met.

Customers understandably want to ensure proper sample management and reliable data is generated with the right controls. With a cloud-based LIMS, the CRO ensures that they have tight control of all customer-specific processes.

Report Flexibility

Organizations will have different reporting requirements based on different industry regulatory standards, and customers want their results reported in different ways. A LIMS solution can efficiently meet these different and changing reporting needs. In addition, the task of running reports is done seamlessly and on demand, eliminating manual transcriptions. LIMS also enables consistent tracking of key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be shared with external sources, further increasing customer confidence in a CRO’s controlled processes.

System interface types and levels can also influence the decision-making process to choose the most appropriate LIMS. Lab results and other processes need to be integrated with the client’s internal system, including access from home, something that is becoming more common as remote work increases globally. Using a LIMS SaaS with multiple, secure access points can be valuable: Internet access and a password is all that is needed to connect.

System-to-system communication requires a highly sophisticated LIMS. The best option for maximum compatibility for high-functioning CROs with multiple clients is to use a LIMS that is compatible or even the same system as the client. For this reason, selecting one of the most successful vendors can provide integration benefits.

Easy Adaptation

Of all the cloud-based LIMS options for CRO, software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms are the easiest to adopt. CROs are smaller laboratories and focus on sample throughput, not IT systems. A SaaS LIMS eliminates the need for an IT team.

Without a cloud-based LIMS, ever-changing customer needs and CRO growth greatly increase the IT demands on the CRO team, resulting in a loss of human and financial resources. LIMS SaaS subscriptions offer 24-hour IT support, including updates, patches, and system problem management. Your LIMS provider manages the technical aspects of your LIMS, leaving your organization to focus on its core responsibilities.

Going live with LIMS SaaS is extremely simple and fast; being up and running in just 30 days. Training materials and expert support ensure your staff have the knowledge they need to use the system effectively.

6 Reasons CRO - Contract Research Organizations Need Cloud-Based LIMS

Validation Is Now Complete

Validation is a major concern when evaluating a LIMS system. With cloud-based LIMS, lab processes are validated prior to subscription start. It has been confirmed through rigorous testing that the software can do what it says it will do and meet the necessary regulatory requirements. Suppliers must ensure that their testing process ensures high levels of confidence in the validation of the system .

Because of the variety of their customers, CRO managers don’t want to buy a system that requires a lot of customization and maintenance. An out-of-the-box setup with a SaaS LIMS is an efficient way to meet CRO requirements and deliver high-quality services to multiple clients. The SaaS is a highly functional cloud-based LIMS that can successfully deal with variations from client to client.

Cost Effective for Smaller Laboratories

When trying to determine the total cost of a LIMS, a smaller CRO may be better off with a cloud-based option. This is due to several benefits, including: initial price, speed of deployment, decreased IT resources, and reduced need for customization.

Because a cloud-based LIMS is provided through a subscription model, the company accounts for the system as an operating expense. This differs from on-premises LIMS which often require a high upfront cost and are managed as capital expenditures. Operating expenses are much easier to manage for smaller CROs. Recurring fees are pay-as-you-go and are typically smaller expenses compared to the huge up-front expense of a LIMS hosted on your premises.

With cloud-based LIMS, there is no additional computer hardware installed, all that is required is Internet access. So, in many cases, commissioning can happen in just a few weeks. Plus, because cloud-based LIMS meet regulatory requirements right out of the box, there’s no need to spend time and resources on customization.

Quick to Implement

Laboratory managers within a CRO may be hesitant to make a change to their LIMS because they can’t afford the downtime for a smooth transition. Whether compelled by a failed audit or a business decision, a cloud-based LIMS is an efficient path to success. With all the regulatory requirements, validations, and automations in place, the lag time is minimal.

Although the change can cause some transition problems between teams of older employees, a cloud-based LIMS solution is designed to minimize such difficulties. Templates are standardized, so employees aren’t frustrated by inconsistencies in documentation.

As a fast-paced, high-functioning CRO, your primary concern is deliverables and customer satisfaction. You want to provide excellent service to all customers, whether they are from a large pharmaceutical company or a university research institution. There are numerous advantages to adopting a cloud-based LIMS to meet the needs of multiple clients.

Raw material and finished product release, stability studies, and environmental monitoring are completed smoothly and efficiently by leveraging a cloud-based LIMS. Ease of implementation, cost effectiveness, reporting flexibility, and compliance with regulation and other best practices present a perfect fit for the burgeoning CRO.

SaaS platforms are attractive to CROs because they allow maximum focus on the efficiency of business operations rather than IT capabilities. Building a customer base and improving your lab processes can now easily move you to the forefront of staff time and resources. The result? The entire CRO team works together to expand its reach, capturing broader local and global industrial markets.

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