Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Found a way to increase your lab management efficiency by 21%


Have you ever spent hours to look for a chemical in your lab, haven't found it and had to order it from the vendor just to find out later that it was there?


Though the situation described above may seem as a minor incident, in fact it has deep consequences. Undesired delays in experiments schedule, double-orders which negatively reflect on lab's budget and we're just scratching the problem surface!
Fortunately, having thoroughly studied 120 labs, we found the differentiator that will bring your lab to the  new level. 


Setting out to find the reason

The frustrating part of conducting a research is being distracted all the time. The least wanted distraction is a waste of long hours to look  for a required reagent, while it's actually there. Ooof!!!!
Recently, we decided to perform a statistical analysis on 120 labs to determine the reason and later the solution for FALSE NEGATIVE results. Or in other words, when "Inventory Item Not Found" message is actually not true and later the solution for that.


What is 'Inventory Item Not Found' 

When a researcher is preparing for an experiment, s/he has to look up reagents s/he will need later. Sometimes, the reagent can’t be found, resulting in an 'Inventory Item not found' message, which we know in some cases is not true, e.i. FALSE NEGATIVE. So we asked:


What kind of LabSuit usage patterns drive the least of 'Inventory Item Not Found' messages?

LabSuit has two big domains: 
  1. Inventory Management
  2. Orders tracking 
Our analysis shows that labs using a combination of Inventory + Orders Management receive the 'Inventory Item not found' 27% of time, while labs using only Inventory Management get this message at 32% rate, e.g. almost every 3rd search returns "Item Not Found". 
Actually these numbers support our intuition, because when new reagents that arrive into got properly cataloged, they are easily tracked and found by all lab members. In addition, checking-in new items can be done semi-automatically with the help of "MARK-AS-DELIVERED" feature. We covered it in another blog-post some time ago.

Order Management leads to 21% less 'Inventory Item Not Found' messages  

The big take-away from this analysis is that just by adding Orders Management to lab's set of daily tools, the lab would be improving by 21%, thus eliminating false positive results, e.g. when a chemical is in the lab, the LabSuit will tell about that! 
This is an example of a happy lab leverage Orders Management for the interest of all lab members:

Thursday, April 20, 2017

LabSuit goes to Vilnius for LOGIN Fare

Good news!!!

We're flying to Vilnius, Lithuania to take part at LOGIN Fare, which will take place on 24-26 of May!!!

Special thanks to Startup Lithuania team for organizing pitch battle event at Tel Aviv and granting a winning place! LabSuit will have a great company with other two startups from Israel, Distribyte and SwitchRTC.

We've got some introductions to PI's at Vilnius University, so we plan to get back with new labs that would fall in love with LabSuit!

Read more here at official Startup Lithuania page:
http://www.startuplithuania.lt/en/news/switchrtc-distribyte-and-labsuit-coming-to-login-startup-fair-from-tel-aviv

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

LabSuit goes mobile!

We are proud to launch this tiny feature that will make a big difference for your lab!


In general, institute regulations require us to keep Delivery Notes of orders we make. In addition, having access to all Delivery Notes helps us avoid double orders. Surprisingly, keeping a Delivery Note might be a challenging thing. In Ben Gurion university it’s solved by WhatsApp messaging group, where all Delivery Notes are poured.
Naturally, the Delivery Notes get lost.
In LabSuit Delivery Notes and orders are always kept together.
We empowered LabSuit users to take snapshots of your Delivery Notes with smartphones and instantly attach them to respective order in LabSuit!


So here it goes!


You don’t need to install anything from AppStore or Google Play!
Just point your mobile browser to LabSuit and you are good to go!


Every order item has a button "Attach Delivery Note".
Tapping that button shows up "Take Photo or Video" menu.
 

Just point your front camera at the Delivery Note and take a shot!
Having uploaded the image to your LabSuit, you get peace of mind!
Now the Delivery Note is available for your future follow ups!



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Who is a lab fairy?

We keep getting this question: "Who is a Lab Fairy?"

Lab Fairy is something that we came up with to solve labs' nasty problem of monotonous reagents cataloging.

Some time ago, we realized that this is the pain-point that many labs would love be solved! That's how Lab Fairy was born.

In one of our previous posts, we wrote in more details what Lab Fairy can do for your lab.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Lab fairy is reporting from the field

Lab Fairy has returned from the first visits to labs, and reports from the field are showing up.
Lab Fairy visited the laboratory of Prof. Shlomo Magdassi at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem!  (Who is Lab Fairy?)
Lab Fairy found a bunch of chemical bottles to label and also made sure to properly catalog them with LabSuit.


One lab had just transferred many chemicals from one room to another, leaving more than 500 items to be taken care of.

An old proverb says: "He works best who knows his trade".

First, Lab Fairy analyzed 600 research labs already using LabSuit and learnt what inventory management best practices are best suited for each type of lab.
Secondly, the Lab Fairy arrived at the lab equipped with solvent-resistant labeling stickers and different sized and colored markers for making notations.


Having discussed the goals with the lab manager, the decision was to give every chemical a serial number. This method is quite popular among Organic Chemistry labs. Another variation of that method is to restart numbering for every letter a chemical begins with. For example, acetone is A-1, aniline is A-2, bromine is B-1, and so on. 


The work process includes several steps, some more obvious and some less. The required, non-obvious step was to organize all bottles on the bench, and to make sure the items of the same category get a subsequent serial number.



This lab presented a special case, as it had transferred a big portion of its chemicals from one room to another. This transition required a number of checks to be performed. Nevertheless, in just 4 days, our Lab Fairy helped the group organize these items, while making sure to catalog all of the chemicals with Labsuit, and labeling every single bottle with a solvent-resistant label. The label is our guarantee that the chemical will be identifiable and trackable for years to come.


Our Lab Fairy was very excited to help Prof. Shlomo Magdassi’s research group organize their chemicals in a new room. Thanks to the Fairy's vast experience, the project was handled promptly. We're sure that many researchers would also enjoy this fruitful makeover!   

It's easy to stay updated with Orders Discussions


For about a month we've been running Orders Discussion in Beta mode. Now, having received many feedback and improved it accordingly, we're officially releasing Order Discussions.

Every order details page has three parts:
  1. Order details
  2. Attachments
  3. Order discussion


What is new here is that order discussion panel which infinitely goes down, is capable to accommodate any comment or update you, or your lab members have to make.  


How other labs are using order discussion updates:

"Which budget/grant should I use for this purchase?"

"This item is available at a local chemical storage" 

"I attached a price quotation" 

"This item ships in 14 days" 

"The right catalog number for this item is 139753-200gr"

Monday, January 2, 2017

CAS numbers aren't just for chemicals, but also for antibodies, peptides and others

CAS pelotonia.jpg

If you look close enough at this picture you can spot two happy Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) members exiting the building. They have just generated 4 new CAS numbers for the very new organic compounds.
This building is where they dwell, while we in research and particularly in LabSuit can happily use their fruitful work.

CAS numbers

In this blogpost I'll be talking about CAS numbers in LabSuit.
Many of us use CAS numbers on the daily basis. They help us uniquely identify chemical compounds and avoid moments of frustration.

Not a long time ago, in LabSuit, we prescribed CAS number fields for chemicals only. While this may be theoretically fine, for practical purposes that may not always be the case. 

CAS numberS have richer context

There was a trigger that helped us to drive the change in LabSuit - we talked with Yifat Abramovich from Rapport, Medicine Department of Technion. Ifat is using CAS number for antibodies! Then we analyzed a bigger sample of compounds across different labs and realized there were numerous cases when items were categorized as chemicals, while could have been categorized in a more narrow category. 
Therefore we decided to bring CAS number field into other categories as well. From now on, antibodies, peptides, etc. can have CAS numbers.
We are grateful to Yifat for this valuable feedback which lead us to this solution!


An image courtesy of Jack B108 - Own work by uploader--from a friend w/permission, CC BY-SA 3.0Link