Advantages of CRM in Biobanking and Sample Management software
Mar 08

Advantages of CRM in Biobanking and Sample Management software

Traditionally, Laboratory Information Management systems (LIMS), Biobanking software and Sample Management solutions have been seen 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 trials, these systems are having to adapt. As a result, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) functionality is becoming increasingly important. One of the advantages of having CRM in Biobanking and Sample Management software means these applications are able to handle many of these patient-centric demands straight-away.

How is customer relationship management relevant to a laboratory or Biobank?

Typically, customer relationship management systems cover sales, marketing and customer service requirements. These may not sound like something you need to help you manage your laboratory processes and inventory.  However, having CRM in Biobanking and Sample Management systems gives you 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).  But an industry-standard CRM-only system may not provide your laboratory team with the specific functionality they need.  In addition, a large proportion of the standard CRM functionality will probably not be used and could be confusing.

However, if your Sample Management system includes CRM functionality, you get a complete view of your laboratory and inventory. Your team can capture details such as sample origin, as well as manage quality, highlight issues, track sample status and current location and monitor sample usage.  Also your team don’t have to jump from one application to another when carrying out their processes. Your lab team only needs to learn one system and your IT team has a single system to maintain!

Even if you do decide that the rest of your organisation requires a dedicated CRM system, these systems can be integrated.  As a manager you can get a complete business overview while still giving your users what they need.

To summarise the benefits of CRM in Biobanking and Sample Management software

The expectations around clinical research are changing with the emergence of precision medicine and 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.  Our Achiever Medical system has integrated CRM and LIMS functionality in a single solution. Our customers have been seeing benefits as a result of this successful approach for more than 10 years.

If you are purchasing, or upgrading your existing, LIMS system you may want to consider including CRM in your requirements.

About The Author

Sharon Williams has over 20 years’ experience of helping businesses successfully implement Sample Management Software and CRM systems. Appreciating that the software will deliver significant business change and improvements, Sharon guides businesses to help optimise these benefits. This includes advice on how to obtain user buy-in, evaluating and redefining existing business processes and how to gain a better understanding of their data to provide invaluable insight and inform business decisions.