Friday, December 8, 2017

Helen will share the insights that we learned from 600 labs


At the Biotechnology conference, Helen will share the results of a statistical study that we performed at LabSuit. Having analyzed more than 600 labs we discovered amazing facts regarding different aspects of lab inventory and orders management.
What we discovered is that the ability to employ order-request-management and inventory-management systems fuzed together, e.i. at the same place, significantly reduces the number of double orders. We touched this topic before in one of the previous posts.

You're invited to Helen lecture this Sunday, on December 17, 2017 at Israel Biotechnology conference. 
The detailed conference agenda and speakers list can be found here.
Come and learn what we found out and how it can be applied to your research group for better lab processes.
Helen holds Ph.D. from Technion and she's LabSuit founder and CEO. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Fighting Sisyphean lab tasks with timely reminders. Order requests that aren't marked as received longer than usual would receive timely reminders!


Have you ever wondered what happens to your lab when ordered chemical arrives, but neither marked as received nor checked-in?

Your lab gets into the deadly loop and inventory becomes out-of-date. With every new item that skips the check-in process, whole system integrity is compromised, which at some point will haunt lab members back.


The solution

We have great news for our whole lab community!!!
Starting from today, LabSuit helps you to follow up on every order request!
For example, let's say you submit a request for imidazole. At some point it's status is advanced to "Ordered", but never changed to "Received".  It's likely that the piece of a lab supply was received a long time ago, but no-one marked it as received. Or maybe the item is still stuck at supplier's site. When you have a lot of tasks to take care of, it becomes extremely challenging to follow up on these cases. Also,  sometimes it may seem like a Sisyphean task.



How it works

From now, every item which is expected to be received, but takes longer than usual will trigger a reminder email. Every item type has it own typical delivery time. LabSuit takes advantage of that, and that's how items that are usually delivered in 4 days would trigger reminder email in a week, items that are usually delivered in 10 days, would trigger reminder email in 2 weeks and so on.
That's just another way of how LabSuit makes your lab work smart and not hard. 



Thursday, November 16, 2017

Good news for Israeli chemists! You can choose Alfa Aesar products either from Tzamal D-Chem or Holland Moran


Following Alfa Aesar acquisition by Fisher Scientific, Israeli chemists got an advantage. 

For many years, the exclusive Alfa Aesar representative in Israel was Tzamal D-Chem. However, when Alfa Aesar was acquired by Fisher Scientific, Alfa catalog become available from Holland Moran too, which represents Fisher Scientfic in Israel.

Since LabSuit partners with both Tzamal D-Chem and Holland Moran, our users take advantage of camparing prices from both vendors.

Try Alfa Aesar items from Tzamal in LabSuit
Try Alfa aesra items from Holland Moran in LabSuit
Try both!

Enjoy the pluralism! And leave your comments below! 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Lab members at Roee Amit lab at Technion found a clever way to bridge the gap between the lab bench and the computer desk.


Some time ago I wrote a blog post about how LabSuit is used on a mobile device, and how its mobile camera can facilitate your lab requests management.
Some time ago on a casual visit to one of Technion labs, our team member found something interesting.

Researcher work is split between the lab bench and computer desk

Research is conducted in many different environments. Usually, we see researchers wearing white lab suit and protective goggles. After the experiment is conducted, the analysis phase steps in, which requires a computer desk to work at. Activities, such as scientific conferences, also can be very fruitful and important. Nevertheless, most of the work is split between the bench and a computer desk. Unfortunately, the switch from the bench to the computer and vice versa isn't that quick because of protective gloves the researcher wears and distance in-between.

Much of the work is done on the bench 
The examples list is endless:  Whether you are distilling titanium chloride (what a joy:)) in the hood or just enjoying your daily endless column, you cannot really go far much from the hood. Distillation of DMF can take hours when you have to be stuck to your lovely hood. I used to work on corrole synthesis, these materials are colorful but the column purification takes all day when you have to be stuck to your hood chair and cannot remove your eyes from the colorful column. Yellow, orange, red, brown, green and finally the long anticipate purple color! This rainbow can drive crazy even the calmest blinded colored chemist in the world! 

The work that done on the desk is mostly concerned with analyzing the data collected from the wet part of the research.

Bridging the gap between the lab bench and the computer
Lab members at Roee Amit lab at Technion found a clever way to connect these worlds: they physically attached tablet computer to the wall, next to one of the hoods. The software that runs on the tablet is essential for the lab operations. Lab members can instantly find the exact chemical location inside the lab using "Inventory" module. They can notify the lab manager about new order request without having to leave the bench.  This is possible due to "Request Management" module.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Thanks to The Hive Gvahim Business Accelerator



"The Hive Gvahim team with industry top-experts (a.k.a mentors) literally poured enormous volumes of value into each participating startup"

In era of global Internet access, all human knowledge stands for your service in a matter of a click. The web is full with blogposts and step-by-steps guides that will arguably take one's business to the next level. However, there is one aspect that business accelerator is different. I'm talking about the human touch.


The Hive Gvahim Business accelerator

Business accelerator is a venture that aims to advance one's business. Participating business is put under magnifying class and all of its components are analyzed with mentors' help, who are experts in their field. First, the idea is checked in regards to pain it is supposed to solve for its customers. Accelerator members meet a dozen of mentors which bring their experience on the table. Secondly, the idea is validated in go-to-market regards, when another dozen of mentors step in and every participating team brain-storms their go-to-market strategy with industry veterans. The next step brings in another group of mentors, and so on.
At the end of day, there is no a single venture aspect that wasn't covered and discussed with professional. 



What is so special in The Hive Gvahim accelerator?

LabSuit had a great honor to participate in The Hive Gvahim business accelerator!
It lasted 6 months in which The Hive Gvahim team along with other program mentors literally poured enormous volume of values into each participating startup. The progress made during the program is huge and impossible to overrate! I would like to specially thank Tal Kelem and Izabella Filipov who provided us with all kinds of support: administrative, business and sometimes - emotional support as well. Tal, Izabella, thank you!
Our fellow teams, you're awesome! Radiomize, NoTraffic, FitScanner, WiseWed, NailDatWinisApp.

Photos by Debbie Zimelman

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Lab Fairy gives his magical touch to Fernando Patolsky lab at Tel Aviv university



Every lab has its creative chaos. Often it seems as an integral part of a research environment, but when you're tight on time and have scientific papers to submit it will come to haunt you back. 
Lab Fairy comes to solve this and turn your experience into more joyful!

Why chemicals go astray?

While every reagent in the lab should be in its place, the chemical will go astray exactly when you need it the most. The problem isn't unique to a specific lab, but typical to most of the labs. 
We tried to track back the sequence of events and understand what was the point of no return for that chemical. The most common case is that the previous chemical user, didn't put it back. And why? Because its wasn't clear where the chemical should be placed and stored. Wow!!


Prevent chemicals from getting lost in the lab

The solution is pretty simple.
Labeling each bottle with its location makes it really easy to return the chemical to its proper location.
It's pure satisfaction to see one's lab before the lab fairy's touch and after it!



Lab Fairy deployment

Lab Fairy visited Fernando Patolsky lab at Tel Aviv university, whom we pass the best wishes! (Who is the Lab Fairy?As usual, Lab Fairy did an outstanding job. Every container and chemical in the lab was labeled with solvent-resistant sticker. The sticker helps to overcome the inherent lab problem. After using the chemical the researcher asks the sacral question: "Where this bottle should be returned?". Owing to Lab Fairy, the answer is rather simple, since it's written on the sticker.

Big thumbs up to our Lab Fairy, Vadim!



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

A fruitful way to engage your mobile camera with lab orders management



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!



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Lab Fairy embraces Eli Lewis's lab at Ben Gurion university of the Negev



When there is a job for Lab Fairy it doesn't matter whether it's in the Noth or in the South - Lab Fairy packs its tools and embarks for an assignment! This time Lab Fairy has got a call from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. 

It's a pure pleasure to work with a professional lab manager

Having boarded a train heading South, the Lab Fairy had an hour ride to Beer Sheva. At the campus which is shared by hospital and university, Lab Fairy was met by amazing lab manager - Ronen Schuster. Ronen was so positive and cooperative that Lab Fairy had a true pleasure of working with him. Ronen accompanied us to the lab and gave very accurate instructions, so the expectations on both sides were very clear. 
Lab Fairy plunged into work. Lab Fairy's target was a fridge full of antibodies. On previous Lab Fairy assignments,  there were containers mostly with chemicals, therefore dealing with the new type of inventory items made it even more interesting and exciting!




The goals are shared, the pains are personal

One of the things that I found most fascinating about Lab Fairy is how lab managers perceive and talk about Lab Fairy. While all share the same goal of having a more organized lab, many are motivated by different pains.
For example, Ronen got extremely excited that owing to Lab Fairy he could have more free time. With this extra time, he could go to another professional meeting, without sacrificing his lab into logistic chaos.


These tiny antibody bottles were labeled by solvent-resistant labeling stickers and got checked in into LabSuit inventory module.
Though Ronen was busy with his tasks, the atmosphere was extremely positive, and I would like to thank both Ronen and Eli for that!

I wish there were more labs like this one!
See you next time at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev!

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!   

Doing orders for a whole lab is not easy. It becomes really tough when request is submitted, but some details are missing. Let's see how LabSuit solves this.


As someone doing orders for a whole lab, I may feel challenged when I receive order requests and details are partially missing. Sometimes I could fill up the gaps from my acquaintance with a matter, but when I'm out of context it really becomes a big deal.

Some lab managers raise their voice and ask aloud "Ben! Did you mean 5 grams or 50 grams of Imidazole?" Other lab managers get up from their desk and go for a walk to clarify the request. 
But what lab manager has time and energy for that?
Emails could have worked but they are just so overwhelming.


The solution

LabSuit's solution is to integrate chat into Request Details Page, so item requested automatically becomes chat topic.

As can be seen below, clicking on 'History and updates' takes me to Chat Area. I can address my clarification question to the person who submitted the request and CC (Carbon Copy) any other lab member that I want to keep in the loop.



The discussion panel which infinitely goes down, is capable to accommodate any number of comments or updates you 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