Here is a partial list of the ever-growing acronyms in our industry, plus a few that are occasionally linked with are partially used with our systems:
- CAPA (Corrective Action / Preventative Action) – these systems manage investigations into product issues, for one example.
- CDS (Chromatography Data System) – software that controls chromatography instruments and formats the data to be used in other places.
- ELN (Electronic Laboratory Notebook) – this is not a laboratory notebook that is computerized but a product that changes the workflow of the laboratory by offering a variety of features to help record and manage its information. ELN products are available for various types of both research and development labs as well as quality control labs. Some people insist that there is no such thing as an ELN for quality control but this is a matter of terminology issues within our industry. These systems are experiment-based.
- ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) – software that plans the work of the entire company, from financial to human resources and sometimes including manufactured batch testing. SAP and NetSuite are examples of this type of software.
- LES (Laboratory Execution System) – in the ever-growing push to automate quality control laboratories, these systems attempt to completely take the lab users through the process of executing the methods to cut down on mistakes or other unwanted variances.
- LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) – these systems manage the laboratory. They are sample-based, however, the term “sample” is used loosely as a “sample” might actually be something like a stability “pull” or an internal standard “sample.”
- LIS (Laboratory Information System) – these are patient-based systems used by hospitals and clinics.
- MES (Manufacturing Execution System) – shop floor control softwareto operate these systems.
- PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) – these systems management product lifecycle throughout the various versions of the product.
- SDMS (Scientific Data Management System) – manages the data from the laboratory by helping with storage and typically allowing some way to access specific pieces of data.
Note: Even within the industry, these terms are used loosely and there is a lack of agreement regarding which products fall into which categories. In the sales process, a product is sometimes presented using the term thought most likely to sell it to that particular customer.