Lab inventory management plays a crucial role in the development of life-saving drugs, as it ensures the accurate and timely tracking of all items used in the laboratory. The best lab inventory management software automates the many tasks associated with laboratory inventory tracking, which also includes the monitoring of items that are near expiry as well as the reordering of supplies.
In 2020, the average cost to research and develop a pharmaceutical compound from discovery to launch was $2.5 billion (Mikulic, 2021). Without using an effective resource management tool such as an inventory management platform, that amount could easily climb, as inefficiency in operations could lead to higher costs. So, to help you avoid this problem, this guide presents a list of the best laboratory inventory management platforms. The unique features of each software are provided, as well as information on how much it costs to use one.
Laboratory inventory management remains one of the single most effective ways to reduce costs and improve productivity. According to the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), on average, researchers identify one promising compound among 5,000-10,000 screened. After that daunting process, they extensively test the compound to ensure its efficacy and safety, which could take 10 to 15 years (IFPMA, 2021).
Source: IFPMA, 2021
From this scenario, we can see the crucial role of laboratory inventory management software in drug discovery as well as in other scientific research processes. Securing important chemicals for various tests, however, is a major challenge among for-profit and government laboratory research facilities. In 2020, the lack of real-time information and automatic updates on the status and location of needed chemicals was identified as a top challenge (C & EN BrandLab, 2021).
These types of challenges significantly impact productivity, as the lack of materials often prevents laboratory personnel from conducting critical tests and procedures. Without proper inventory control and management, laboratory processes might be put at risk in terms of compliance, results, accuracy, and safety (C & EN BrandLab, 2021).
One event that added to the current challenges of research labs on sample procurement is the COVID-19 pandemic. The limited availability of samples and the prioritization of crucial research items meant that only a few research on the funnel will be continued. In January 2021 alone, clinical laboratory improvement amendments (CLIA)-certified labs reported non-COVID 19 supply shortages ASM, 2021.
Source: ASM, 2021
When this happens, a large portion of the population suffers from inadequate provision of proper healthcare due to the shortage of supplies. While this may be an isolated case due to the shortages having been brought by the pandemic, it also shows that shortages of drugs and biologics pose a significant public health threat, as brought by the delay in providing critical care for patients.
The problems cited above are just some of the reasons why efficient laboratory inventory management is crucial as part of research data management. With lockdown rules being relaxed, however, a large percentage of laboratory workers still find sample procurement slow and limited (Enago, 2021).
Since sample procurement is still a challenge for most laboratories, this will have a huge impact on scientific discoveries (Pemberton, 2021).
Using the laboratory software can help you plan and forecast material requirements and secure the availability of supplies so as not to interrupt scientific processes and crucial discoveries. In choosing your platform, identify all items that need to be tracked. Here is a list of the best laboratory inventory management software that can help you reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve the overall efficiency of your laboratory.
DxOne Inventory Manager is an innovative solution from Beckam Coulter for optimizing laboratory resources. It is an automated, end-to-end software solution that increases operational efficiency by automatically recording, tracking, and monitoring the consumables in your laboratory. DxOne Inventory Manager takes care of stock management, including reordering and reagent consumption monitoring. As a result, laboratory staff can focus more on research rather than doing administrative tasks.
Quartzy improves operational efficiency by digitizing laboratory workflow and reducing time to market. It has a fully customizable platform that meets the needs of organizations such as labs, academic institutions, early-stage biotechs, and public companies. The Quartzy platform streamlines and centralizes laboratory operations and keeps laboratory staff focused on research and other non-administrative tasks. It lets you track and monitor stocks, and effectively manage inventory.
Labguru Inventory Management System is a platform that organizes your lab by using QR codes and barcode labels so laboratory staff can easily locate supplies. It also enables the management of shopping lists in one place. From a single dashboard, you can easily see your inventory status and receive notifications before stocks expire. Labguru combines ELN software functions with inventory management and lab informatics, allowing you to add specific supplies to experiments.
Lockbox LIMS Inventory Management provides a 360-degree inventory management system that utilizes the Lockbox Item Master to easily manage the inventory process. It enables you to maintain real-time visibility into your inventory of kits, reagents, chemicals, media, and supplies. Using the protocol functionality, you can automatically perform inventory creation and monitor consumption. Lockbox LIMS Inventory Management tracks both single-use and multi-use inventory items.
CrelioHealth Inventory is a laboratory inventory management platform that offers an all-in-one solution with real-time consumption analytics. The inventory planning and ledger tool plans purchases based on past consumption. It also has a multi-view dashboard for monitoring supplies and also identifies which items are nearing expiry. CrelioHealth Inventory provides a SWOT analysis of all your inventory, which aids optimization efforts.
ChemInventory is a cloud-based chemical inventory software that allows you to manage all the chemicals in your laboratory. It lets you search instantly for compounds by chemical abstracts service (CAS) registry number, structure, or any name based on your custom fields. Unique barcodes are assigned to each container for simple and fast stock-taking procedures. Based on CAS and name, chemical structures are automatically assigned to containers.
CryoTrack IMS is a platform for managing laboratory records. It manages inventory by providing a graphical representation of storage containers. It maximizes storage space by providing the status of all storage containers and facilitates easy data entry for transferring files. Depending on your specific requirements, you can customize fields to specify what you want to see in spreadsheets and search tabs. CryoTrack meets 21 CFR Part 11 guidelines.
BSI Systems is a biological specimen inventory management software that tracks the full specimen life cycle encompassing receipt, assessment, storage, processing, shipping, and destruction. When partnered with the best clinical trial management software, it also processes specimens per task, tracks derivative creation and lineage, and imports delimited files. BSI Systems easily integrates with other systems through the BSI Hub. It offers end-to-end specimen inventory, from small biobanks to large repository networks. Each product offers a unique set of tools to support the operations of biospecimen networks and biorepositories.
BxInventory is an inventory system that tracks spending and funds, automates ordering procedures, and helps locate inventory items quickly. It tracks orders and items online and creates a virtual image of your lab for easier management. With BxInventory, you can track your orders and items online. Designed for principal investigators, lab managers, post-doc, and research students, BxInventory improves the productivity of your laboratory.
eLabInventory is a laboratory inventory management software that optimizes your storage processes, maintains a full audit trail of all samples, and visualizes your entire laboratory. It lets you easily locate samples and specimens in your laboratory and automatically record all events following GLP/GMP guidelines.
iLab Inventory Management is a software for organizing inventory in research laboratories. It easily identifies sample locations and tracks inventory through barcoding capabilities. The system of tracking samples is based on the specific date each sample was added, type, location, name, label, and amount. Through barcoding, specific sample metadata can be called up, which contributes to significant time savings. This also keeps the ordering system more efficient.
BrightLab is a cloud-based research platform designed to simplify inventory management processes using mobile and cloud-based tracking and ordering. It offers full integration with the Sigma-Aldrich catalog and brings projects, people, and consumables together to accelerate discovery and optimize workflow. BrightLab can cut down the time spent on inventory review by automating the location, consumption, and ordering of materials.
LANEXO is a software solution for the management of lab inventory, safety, and compliance. It helps create more productive, efficient, and compliant laboratories, which result in high-standard testing processes, products that offer consistent quality, and improved scientific processes. One powerful feature of LANEXO is that it alerts the system of storage non-compliance, which ensures that all inventory items are properly stored based on industry regulations.
ATGC Labs Lab Inventory is a solution for Science and Engineering laboratories for inventory monitoring, including the setting and assessing of stock levels, real-time inventory management, and forecasting. It is an on-premise solution that helps you run your laboratory processes efficiently by giving you complete control of operations by tracking all laboratory materials and equipment. ATGC Labs is ideal for all types of industries, including education, biotechnology, chemistry, medicine, and more.
Benchling is a laboratory inventory management software solution that intelligently connects with your R&D data. It optimizes space usage by keeping track of the real-time status of each item in your laboratory. By connecting each physical sample to its experimental context, assay requests are automatically submitted directly from input samples. Samples are automatically updated by integrating instruments to ensure data integrity.
LabSuit lab inventory management software solution maps your lab location hierarchy to facilitate easier tracking of inventory. It lets you customize the substance type that you are using in your research, making custom inventory possible. LabSuit keeps your inventory sheets backed up by automatically sending copies of your spreadsheets to your email on a weekly or monthly basis. LabSuit accommodates any type of data, and you can also upload them while on the fly.
Vertére Inventory Manager is a chemical and lab inventory management software solution that uses barcodes to facilitate the easy tracking, transfer, and disposal of containers. It is compliant with the Globally Harmonized System classification data for chemicals and identifies inventory status by using registration lists for regulatory reporting. Moreover, you can conveniently access your inventory from your mobile device and monitor low inventory, including chemicals nearing expiry with email alerts. Vertére Inventory Manager offers different modules for chemical inventory, biological inventory equipment tracking, and stockroom management.
Atellica Inventory Manager is a laboratory inventory management software that helps you get the right materials at the right time by providing automated and real-time control of reagents and consumables across multiple locations. The result is reduced costs, improved lab output, and increased efficiency. Using cloud-based software and RFID technology, Atellica simplifies inventory check-in, check-out, consumption tracking, and ordering. Order processes are automatically triggered by stock usage and custom criteria. All consumables and reagents in the lab are tracked by the system.
Labstep is a modern cloud R&D platform that offers full-featured inventory management that keeps track of all reagents and samples down to the batch or aliquot level. It creates categories with customizable metadata templates, as well as creates and manages order requests. In addition, Labstep provides an all-in-one research environment by including an electronic lab notebook, LIMS, LES, and order management in one solution.
FLUICS CONNECT is a sample management software that you can access by using the camera of your mobile device. It turns your mobile device into an inventory tracking tool by simply downloading the FLUICS CONNECT app. Using your email address, you can register your workspace and invite other lab members. Use FLUICS CONNECT to create a catalog of your lab inventory items, storage locations, and track inventory.
Lab inventory management software organizes overall lab processes, which enhances accuracy and data integrity. Whether you choose a fully-online system like BxInventory, a custom platform like Quartzy, a real-time analytics tool like Creliohealth Inventory, or a mobile sample management system like FLUICS CONNECT, there’s a software out there that will help you improve the way you manage your laboratory. The automatic capture of inventory data leads to better insights. Meanwhile, the sophisticated search mechanisms for tracking thousands of reagents and compounds highlight the crucial role of lab inventory management software and clearly show why lab inventory is important. Often offered as part of laboratory information management systems software, the lab inventory management platform is an indispensable tool in every research facility.
In using lab inventory management software, you are assured that materials can be stored and used efficiently. The traceability provided by the platform keeps you informed of what is being used when, and by whom. It frees up valuable time and reduces the margin for error. With proper inventory management, your lab compliance, research accuracy, and safety will never be compromised. And, paired with the best ELN software tools, you would also up the quality of collaboration.