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Use Analytes to Bill for Services

Like any business striving to remain competitive, a lab’s range of services may change over time. For example, a lab may decide to provide sample pickup services or offer various consulting services. Of course, the lab must bill their customers for these added services and LIMS’ internal data analytes make it possible.

Adding billable costs to a sample in LIMS is done entirely through the sample’s analytes. Simply create internal data analytes with a cost for each service provided then add the appropriate analyte to projects and samples as necessary. By default, internal data analytes are automatically omitted from analytical reports. All sample analytes need a result to complete a sample so you may also configure your service analytes with a result so they are automatically completed when added to a sample. These auto[1]complete internal data analytes are the quickest way to add service costs to your customer’s samples. In cases where you want your invoices to show what date the service was performed, use an internal data analyte that does not auto-complete. You can then use either results entry screen to enter a result for the service analyte and use the analysis date field to show the date of the service.

A few examples will help clarify the options available. Assume a lab has decided to offer sample pickup services to certain customers and the rate charged for the pickup is based on the distance to their customer’s offices.

The Analyses setup screen above shows a new Sample Pickup analyte for customers within a ten mile radius. Additional pickup analytes for customers within 11 to 20 and 21 to 30 miles are also added with higher costs to accommodate the additional distance. Alternatively, a single pickup analyte could be used with customer-specific costs. Note that the Internal Data option is enabled to exclude the analyte from any analytical reports. Since it is not necessary to highlight the distance on a customer’s invoice, the Report Name field omits the mileage. An appropriate cost to invoice customers is added and the required specifications are all set to zero since they are not applicable. Using the Analysis Sorting button a numeric sort order is added to force the pickup analytes to always appear at the bottom of a sample’s list of analytes on all LIMS screens. Finally, the excerpt below from the Results Entry tab of the Analyses setup screen shows that the analyte will automatically be completed with the selected Result Type whenever the analyte is added to a sample.

To add the appropriate sample pickup charge to a customer’s samples, add the pickup analyte to each applicable LIMS project as shown below.

If the pickup service is only provided on occasion or the charge is only added to one sample in a batch, simply add the pickup analyte during sample login using the Add Analysis button as shown below.

If the lab also begins providing consulting services for which they must add applicable labor charges to their customer’s invoices, use similar cost analytes for these services. Simply create internal data analytes such as Consulting 0.5 hour, Consulting 1.0 hour, Consulting 1.5 hours, etc. for each possible billable hourly increment. Configure the analyte’s Auto Complete option so that result entry is not required. Optionally, consider adding the analyte’s billable hours as the auto complete result value, which offers the possibility of consolidating the consulting analytes with a single line item on an Excel-based invoice using the sum of the result values.

Now use the Sample Login screen’s edit mode to add hourly consulting analytes to the sample as needed. The Results by Sample screen excerpt below shows daily consulting charges added to a sample.

Since the sample pickup and consulting analytes added to the sample above are internal data analytes, they will not appear on a final report. However, by default all sample analyses with a cost will appear on an invoice. And like any analyte, customer and project[1]specific costs and cost multipliers for discounts and premiums also apply to internal data analytes.

If you generate your invoices from LIMS, explore internal data auto-complete analytes to add additional charges to your customer invoices.

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