Traditionally, Laboratory Information Management systems (LIMS), Biobanking software and Sample Management solutions have been perceived as complicated, functional applications. These data-driven systems have focused on rigid laboratory processes with user-experience often relegated to something that will be looked at later. However, with the emergence of precision medicine and patient-centric approaches to research and clinical trial involvement, these systems must adapt. The advantages of CRM in Biobanking and Sample Management software enables these applications to manage these patient-centric demands immediately.
How is customer relationship management relevant to a laboratory or Biobank?
Typically, customer relationship management systems cover sales, marketing and customer service requirements. This may sound irrelevant when helping you manage your laboratory processes and inventory. However, having CRM capability within a Sample Management solution can provide you with the ability to:
- Capture enhanced donor profiling information including holding treatments, disease and diagnosis data
- Identify and communicate with potential participants for clinical trials or investigative research using advanced targeting tools
- Send focused communication to participants, potential donors, suppliers and partners with comprehensive marketing tools whilst complying with GDPR and the Data Protection Act
- Manage and track biological tissue contracts with suppliers and partners
- Monitor biological samples received from institutions, including quantity, tissue types, consent and track their use and associated requests for use to assess value
- Associate partners and suppliers with studies and clinical trials and track communication, actions and associated contracts
- Track 3rd party researchers and provide secure access to allow them to request samples for use in research via an online catalogue
- Process sample requests using an approvals mechanism
- Hold information on couriers and monitor dispatches sent via those approved couriers
- Schedule and send automated communications and alerts via SMS and email to internal users or external contacts to highlight actions or non-compliance
- Process and track complaints and queries against biological samples received in manifests, dispatches, audits and sample requests.
Benefits of holding CRM data in the same system as your biological samples
There are separate CRM systems that can be referenced or integrated into sample management or Laboratory Information Management systems (LIMS). An industry-standard CRM-only system may also not provide your laboratory team with the specific functionality they need. A large proportion of the standard CRM functionality will probably not be used and could be confusing.
However, having focused CRM functionality built into a Sample Management system provides you with a complete view of your laboratory inventory. It enables your team to capture sample origin, manage quality, highlight issues, track sample status and current location and monitor sample usage. In addition, it means your team do not have to jump from one application to another when carrying out processes. Further, it means your lab team only need to learn one software application and your IT team have one system to maintain.
Even if you do decide that the rest of your organisation requires a dedicated CRM system, these systems can be integrated. Thereby, managers can obtain a complete state of the business overview, whilst providing only what is needed to users.
The expectations around clinical research are changing with the emergence of precision medicine and the increased focus on quality. In response to this, systems that support laboratory processes and data need to change to meet these new demands. Sample Tracking software and Laboratory Information Management systems (LIMS) comprising CRM functionality may already be offering the functionality required.
If you are purchasing, or upgrading your existing, LIMS system you may want to consider including CRM in your requirements.
If you want to see Laboratory Sample Management Software with CRM and its benefits in action, our team will be happy to show you.