A leading chemical manufacturer and supplier of polyethylene and polystyrene products in the Americas had been running its legacy Honeywell LIMS which was crucial for tracking their project formulations and test requests for well over 20 years in its technology centers. During that time, the LIMS vendor had ceased development and support of their system, requiring the customer to take over these responsibilities with internal resources. The variety of methods executed across the three technology centers is unusually broad and a patchwork of solutions had been deployed at various levels of effectiveness to meet these needs. The solutions included a variety of in-house developed Access and Excel based systems as well as paper-based solutions in addition to the legacy LIMS that lacked the capabilities and technology to do so. As a result, the laboratory practices and processes being used were suboptimal, severely limiting the level of automation attainable in the labs. Additionally, capturing, manipulating and reporting the complex data sets generated in the legacy LIMS was not feasible.
Recognizing that their current LIMS was no longer viable and that they needed to greatly improve the level of automation, reduce the number of systems and solutions in use, and modernize their informatics architecture, the client determined that a new informatics solution needed to be chosen. Realizing that informatics solutions do not exist in a vacuum and that in order to truly gain the most benefits, the customer felt it would be prudent to develop an Informatics Plan prior to making any new solution decisions.