Emu, a marine consultancy, survey and laboratory testing specialist, is using QSI's Winlims Rental solution to improve the customer service of its microbiology and water-quality laboratories.
The Winlims Rental solution is intended to enhance the accuracy, efficiency and traceability of Emu's laboratory information management system (LIMS) procedures.
Emu employs worldwide services in support of infrastructure planning, consenting and development, environmental protection and resource and facilities management.
The company supplies services to support organisations working in the marine aggregates, power and renewables, oil and gas, water utilities, ports and harbours, coastal engineers, facilities management and leisure sectors.
The marine consultancy's services are underpinned by established health-and-safety and quality systems, including accreditation to BS EN ISO 9001:2008 and UKAS accreditation for laboratory testing and sampling services.
Emu is using the Winlims Rental system in the company's Microbiology laboratory and in its Water Quality laboratory, both of which are based in Portsmouth, UK.
Currently, the system processes, on average, 120 water-quality sample tests a day.
Christina Scott, Microbiology laboratory manager for Emu, said: 'When samples arrive at the lab, we immediately register them on Winlims and then enter all results on completion of testing; Winlims then produces reports to be sent to our clients.
'The Winlims Rental system helps us with traceability of samples from our laboratory.
'Emu is an UKAS-accredited laboratory.
'From a traceability point of view, the Winlims system's reporting feature is a major help.
'We needed the LIMS system to help us develop and expand.
'We used a paper-based system before and the Winlims system is definitely more efficient.
'We opted for the rental package due to cost efficiency.
'The cost of licences was a key consideration,' she added.
Before investing in a LIMS system, Emu operated a paper-based system, which was suitable for logging the low sample volumes but was limited in its scope.
Scott continued: 'We realised that the increased volume of samples we would need to handle in the future was likely to bring with it a risk of more human errors being introduced.
'So it was always our plan to invest in a LIMS system as we are expanding the laboratory.
'We were attracted to the Winlims Rental system because of the way we could almost make the system our own; we found that we could make it do almost everything we needed to do,' she said.
Currently, five people have been trained to use the Winlims Rental system, but Emu is looking to roll it out to some of its other laboratories.
'What we will be looking at in about six months or so is the ability for customers to log on to our Winlims Rental system to view the results of their samples,' added Scott.
Winlims Rental allows an organisation to use a full LIMS for a low monthly fee, with a low upfront cost.
Winlims Rental is identical to QSI's full Winlims system and comes bundled with an installation program and tutorials to get users up and running as quickly as possible.
The rental agreements are claimed to be tax efficient and can be converted to a subscription contract or full purchase at any time.