Articles & Case Studies

WinLims Rental solution helps Emu record traceable water testing results

Posted: Tuesday 3rd August 2010

One of the UK’s leading marine consultancy, survey and laboratory testing specialists, Emu Limited, has embraced QSI’s WinLims Rental solution for laboratories to enhance the accuracy, efficiency and traceability of its laboratory information management procedures to improve the organization’s microbiology and water quality laboratories’ customer service.

Emu employs worldwide services in support of infrastructure planning, consenting and development, environmental protection and resource and facilities management. The company supplies services to support organisations working in the marine aggregates, power & renewables, oil & gas, water utilities, ports & harbours, coastal engineers, facilities management and leisure sectors.

Emu features a wealth of in-house scientific specialists in both consultancy and survey services, and can deliver turnkey solutions to a wide range of projects. The marine consultancy’s services are underpinned by well established health & safety and quality systems, including accreditation to BS EN ISO 9001:2008 and UKAS accreditation for laboratory testing and sampling services.

Emu is using the WinLims Rental system in the company’s Microbiology lab and its Water Quality lab which are both based in Portsmouth, UK. Currently the system processes on average 120 water quality sample tests a day.

“When samples arrive at the lab we immediately register them on WinLims and then enter all results on completion of testing; WinLims then produces reports to be sent to our clients. The WinLims Rental system helps us with traceability of samples from our laboratory,” explained Christina Scott, Microbiology Lab Manager for Emu Limited. “Emu is an UKAS accredited laboratory. From a traceability point of view the WinLims system’s reporting feature is a major help”.

Scott continued, “We needed the LIMS system to help us develop and expand. We used a paper-based system before and the WinLims system is definitely more efficient. We opted for the rental package due to cost efficiency. We had two or three companies come in to show us their LIMS systems and we didn’t really see any difference between the services or the products being proposed apart from feeling that the QSI seemed the most cost effective. The other companies did not offer a rental option. The cost of licences was a key consideration. Some of the LIMS packages being offered by QSI’s competitors would have required us to buy as many five or ten licences as a minimum which for our current use was too many.”.

Before investing in a LIMS system Emu operated a paper based system which was suitable for logging the low sample volumes but was limited in its scope.

“We realised that the increased volume of samples we would need to handle in future was likely to bring with it a risk of more human errors being introduced,” explained Scott. “So it was always our plan to invest in a LIMS system as we are expanding the laboratory. We were attracted to the WinLims Rental system because of the way we could almost make the system our own. We found that we could make it do almost everything we needed to do. I am not really that IT orientated but in the grand scheme of things it was quite simple to operate”.

Currently five people have been trained to use the WinLims Rental system but Emu is looking to roll it out to some of its other laboratories.

“What we will be looking at in about six months or so is the ability for customers to log on to our WinLims Rental system to view the results of their samples,” commented Scott. “That is an attractive option for the future”.

Scott added: “The key benefits of the WinLims system we found were its ease of use as well as the technical support that QSI is able to provide. We would definitely recommend LIMS rental as an option. I am really happy with the system”.

WinLims Rental allows an organization to use a full LIMS for a low monthly fee, with a low up-front cost. WinLims Rental is identical to QSI’s full WinLims system, and comes bundled with an installation program and tutorials to get users up and running as quickly and easily as possible. The rental agreements are highly tax efficient and can be converted to a subscription contract or full purchase at any time, keeping an organization’s options open.

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