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Interview of the Month

LabSolutions BiX is the world’s first web-based laboratory business intelligence software designed for all kinds of users – whether they are lab chemists, managers, senior management and/or CXOs.’

In July 2021, Shimadzu launched an unique web-based Business Intelligence software that can provide accurate and timely laboratory analytics, while not only working in the lab but also while Working from Home or anywhere in the world, especially in today’s pandemic situation.

This ground-breaking innovative software, which is called LabSolutions BiX, will help diverse users, ranging from lab chemists to managers to senior  management & CXOs, to make more informed decisions based on detailed and critical analysis of the productivity and efficiency of all assets in the laboratory, be it instruments or the people operating
them.

We spoke to Mr. Prem Anand, Executive Officer and Senior General Manager, Shimadzu (Asia Pacific) Pte Ltd, to know more about this first-of-its-kind product and how it will transform the users laboratory experience forever. Here are some excerpts from his interview

At the outset, many congratulations to Shimadzu on the launch of LabSolutions BiX. Could you please give us a background of why this software was developed by Shimadzu?

Today, more than ever, laboratories across the world are relying on accurate analytics of their performance so that they can make better informed decisions to improve their productivity and efficiency. Also, given the current (and always existing) need for flexibility in work locations, it became imperative that we launched a software that could address all such needs of our users.

Business Intelligence is becoming very important for every business and laboratory management is no exception. With increasing demands of extensive analysis, laboratories need a greater number of instruments and thus more operators to use them optimally. It is a huge investment for organisations, and so it becomes crucial to ensure that the instruments are optimised fully in order to assure a good Return on Investment (ROI). At the same time, it is a hectic task to ensure that the users/ chemists operating the instruments are best utilising the instruments optimally.

We realised these issues from our customers, who are spending a substantial amount of time to generate such data manually, and that’s where the idea of LabSolutions BiX was conceptualised. We realised that easy and interactive data analysis is the real requirement for efficient laboratory management and that is why we have ensured that LabSolutions BiX is extremely easy-to-use and is accessible from anywhere, anytime.

Is there any other software in the market similar to LabSolutions BiX? If yes, then how is your product unique as compared to them?

As mentioned before, the key reason to develop LabSolutions BiX was to address the current gap in laboratory data analytics. As such, there are some tools available that have some features of analytics but mostly those solutions are only available within CDS and the functionalities are limited to providing only very basic analytics.

LabSolutions BiX on the other hand is a web-based software that is independent from CDS and hence can connect with a wide range of instruments ranging from LC, GC to LC-MS/MS, UV and FTIR.

LabSolutions BiX is useful for all levels of management including lab chemists, managers, senior management and/or CXOs. Most importantly, you can check all the information at your fingertips using your laptop, mobile phone or any smart device, irrespective of its operating system. We believe this is the most differentiating feature of LabSolutions BiX.

Could you please elaborate on the features of this unique product?

The various features and benefits of LabSolutions BiX can be categorised into 3 Core Competencies – Brilliant, illume and eXpanse.

The features that showcase the Core Competency of ‘Brilliant’ are designed to provide a brilliant experience to users and enrich their laboratories. These features include Web-based, microservice-based Architecture, Interactive GUI, Interactive Product Tour and the ability to generate Dashboard Specific Reports.

The features that showcase the Core Competency of ‘illume’ are designed to provide precise laboratory analytics to enable users to illuminate greater possibilities of instruments and users’ performance. These features include Detailed and Accurate Lab Analytics, Audit Review Function and Real-Time Notifications and Messages regarding instrument and user performance.

Last but certainly not the least, the features that showcase the Core Competency of ‘eXpanse’ are designed to help connect and spread the footprint of the users’ laboratories, thus enabling the users to grow their businesses. These features include an expandable design that can help scale-up and expand the users’ enterprise digital footprint.

Could you please let us know how LabSolutions BiX will benefit the users?

The brilliant features of LabSolutions BiX not only enable the users to Work from Home (or anywhere in the world) using any smart device (like iOS or Android, Mac or PC), but also offer enhanced user experience and ease-of-use for even the most non-technical users.

  1. LabSolutions BiX answers many crucial questions (as can be seen below), related to your laboratory analytics. The answers to such queries would otherwise not have been possible, without the presence of LabSolutions BiX.
  2. LabSolutions BiX makes it very easy to check which instrument is under-utilised, which instrument needs higher maintenance or how much time the instrument has been idle for.This information is essential in taking important decisions on whether it is necessary to buy new instruments or replace the old ones and also to ensure that the ROI is on track.
  3. LabSolutions BiX provides the way to get the log (error and/or warning) details and the insight about who has contributed towards such logs. This helps to identify the users who are handling the instruments and gives the best way to identify the instrument conditions and also if the user needs training. The important message category (Manual Operation) helps to identify any manual operation that are performed by any user while using the system.
  1. LabSolutions BiX helps an IT admin to manage the assets by reviewing the instrument’s active status, user management and user rights management. The project and the file backup are important to monitor the regular backup activity and confirm system readiness for any disaster. Such project management tools really help to understand the CDS project status and any operations on the projects.
  2. LabSolutions BiX’s installation & operation are extremely easy. Users love the unique Product Tour feature, which is an interactive stepwise training that will help any user to start using LabSolutions BiX within a few hours of installation.

Most importantly, with all these features, LabSolutions BiX is the best in terms of ‘Price-to-Performance’. For LabSolutions CS users, it is a one-time investment of LabSolutions BiX Licence and there is no added cost for any additional number of instruments. Moreover, the user licenses are unlimited as well.

What are the future plans for LabSolutions BiX?

While developing LabSolutions BiX, one of our key focuses was to incorporate an expandable design so that upgrading and expanding the software becomes easy for the users. In fact, we are adding two new important modules – first is Audit Trail Review, which is very specific for our pharma/ other regulatory customers where this module will help to review the audit trails efficiently and check the overall compliance. The second module is for Instrument Management and Scheduling, which currently is a very manual process. With this new module, the lab can literally discard the instrument log books that we have. We have many plans to enhance LabSolutions BiX in the near future and any feedback or suggestions from our customers is most welcome.

What do your customers have to say about LabSolutions BiX?

Well you should ask this question to our customers (smiles). We have received an enormous response regarding LabSolutions BiX. In fact, even before the actual launch of the software, customers were so excited to hear that finally such a software is being launched by the analytical instrument industry that we received our highest turnout ever for any digital (due to COVID-19) launch so far. The extent of positive response can also be understood from the fact that we had multiple customers who had already bought LabSolutions BiX even before it was officially launched. We and our partners all across Asia Pacific continue to receive several purchase requests every day. We feel truly grateful for such a huge response and would like to thank each and every one of our customers via CuttingEdge.

If you were to describe LabSolutions BiX in a sentence, what would it be?

LabSolutions BiX is a Brilliant software that enriches your total laboratory experience, illumes greater possibilities of performance of your laboratory and users and enables you to spread your enterprise digital footprint to a greater eXpanse.

In conclusion, I would like to say that as we move from a Pandemic to an Endemic World, LabSolutions BiX with its unique features, is the software that you need the most for enriching your total laboratory experience.

CE

jagadesh