How Much Is that Little LIMS in the Window?

Do you have a difficult time getting a price list on a LIMS or getting a straight answer about the price of LIMS software?  This Dilbert cartoon says it all…

When you go shopping for a LIMS regardless of size, ask for the vendor’s retail price list.  That should be the starting point for quickly determining if the price of the LIMS is even close to your budget.  Beware, the salesman is going to ask you what your budget is but don’t go there.  How do you know your budget until you can get price lists from multiple vendors.  Asking for a price list is easy to do but see if it is easy to actually get one.  The sales person is going to try and size you up (I mean determine your requirements 😉  ).  Just say that there will be plenty of time for that but to start with you need to get their retail price list for licenses, maintenance and labor rates.  It may be that the sales person will say they do not have a retail price list.  I will let you take it from there…  at this point I would wonder if they have a real product or if everything is made up as they go.

Don’t let anyone fool you, LIMS, like any modern software, has a price list if it is real in any sense.  Once you do get the price list, work with the sales person in detail to determine exactly how the overall system price is calculated.  This is not rocket science or else the sales person would not have a job ;-).  Let’s face it, if you are looking to purchase a LIMS, you need to be able to get the best value, not the lowest price but in order to do that you need to be able to make value based comparisons and without a price list, this will be an uphill climb.