How Digitization Is Shaping the Future of Analytical Laboratories Listen with ReadSpeaker Our expertise

How Digitization Is Shaping the Future of Analytical Laboratories

Laboratories are going through an immense transformation. As businesses evolve and consumer demand becomes more complex, labs are also becoming more agile, reliable, compliant, and efficient.

Over the next decade, new technologies like advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, advanced planning and scheduling, and automation are among the tools set to play a key role in the way researchers interact with equipment and processes in the labs.

According to McKinsey & Company, the impact of digitalization on laboratories surveyed showed that:

  • A 30 to 40 percent increase in productivity for mature and efficient lab environments
  • More than 50 percent reduction in overall quality control costs
  • An average chemical quality control (QC) lab can reduce costs by 25 to 45 percent
  • An average microbiology lab would be in the 15 to 35 percent range
  • A 65 percent reduction in deviations
  • Over 90 percent faster closure times
  • Decrease of QC-lab lead times by 60 to 70 percent
  • Reduction of the investigation workloads by as much as 90 percent


The report noted that these improvements are due to the elimination of up to 80 percent of manual documentation work and along with the automation and optimization of planning and scheduling to improve personnel, equipment, and materials utilization.


Labs are utilizing more real-time data analytics to manage process verification, track trends, prevent deviations or out-of-specification, and help users optimize scheduling. An average chemical QC lab can reduce costs by 25 to 45 percent by reaching the digitally enabled lab horizon. An average microbiology lab can expect potential savings of between 15 to 35 percent range.


Digital-enabled labs are typically characterized by automated data transcription between systems through direct interfaces and the possibility to create insights by applying advanced data analytics to help researchers optimize utilization and schedules.

Although there is an evident increase of labs adopting digitization, there are still labs that are holding back from embracing these technologies in their operations.


McKinsey & Company states that there are two main reasons for companies to hesitate in adopting new technologies. Firstly, many of the companies that are lagging still target fully tested end-to-end future-state prototypes instead of testing and rapidly scaling up digital solutions to obtain quick wins.


Secondly, at present, there are still leaders who are struggling to define clear business cases for the required technological changes. This makes it hard to convince the upper management of the benefits delivered by lab digitization.

Choosing a flexible and configurable laboratory information management system (LIMS) ensures the long-term sustainability of laboratories. LIMS implementations can range from smaller facilities with simpler requirements to more extensive labs like clinical, research, analytical testing laboratories that have complex requirements.


Any effective LIMS systems must be easily configurable to suit the specific requirements of each lab. An easily configurable solution makes it convenient to meet the evolving business model and operational requirements. They must be able to adopt new processes, instruments, and systems as the lab evolves. This can keep implementation and customization costs low to ensure a lower cost of ownership over the lifetime of the LIMS.

By partnering with LabVantage Solutions, DKSH brings highly configurable and scalable LIMS solutions to both large and small businesses who are looking to digitalize and future-proof their laboratories.

LabVantage LIMS features modern technology, scalability, cloud-hosted or on-premises options. It can integrate with other business systems, support thousands of multi-site users, and apply role-based access to data from any device, including tablets. It covers a wide range of capabilities including sample lifecycle management, lab execution, data retrieval, security, and auditing.

Find out more on how DKSH can help digitize your labs today.


Alan Boey

About the author

Alan Boey has been in the X-ray analytical instrument business for the past 14 years, servicing various industries from minerals and mining, metal manufacturing to electronics and semiconductor businesses. Alan is now engaged with DKSH as a regional product manager for Southeast Asia, specializing in X-ray analytical instruments and providing solutions to fulfill market requirements in material analysis with X-ray diffraction techniques as well as elemental determination via X-ray fluorescence methods.