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FAQs

Our lab already has a LIMS.  Why would we need STACS® software?

A LIMS supports your laboratory-wide operations. In a public health lab, this could include a variety of non-DNA health testing. In a forensics lab, it also supports case tracking for fingerprints, firearms, serology and toxicology. Each of these functions has different requirements. If you work in a DNA lab, you know that you need more than a LIMS to optimize your operations. STACS DNA’s products knit together your LIMS, your instruments and your workflow into a tight system that delivers the detailed DNA functionality you need to exceed your performance goals and meet your accountability obligations.

To learn more about the difference between a LIMS and STACS solutions, take five minutes to take The LIMS Challenge.

How can STACS software improve efficiency in our lab?

STACS can save you time every day. Here are a few examples of how:

  • Drastically reduce the time it takes you to document the “who, what, when, and where” for every single sample or batch
  • Eliminate the need to look up lot numbers in log books or manual worksheets
  • Integrated systems eliminates data re-entry time and  errors.
  • Eliminate the processing of duplicate samples in databasing labs
  • Cut peer review time in half
  • QA/QC features prevent errors and saves countless hours of troubleshooting
  • Automatically manage maintenance logs

For more, check out our Customer Case Studies and Benefits Summary.

How can STACS save us money?

Time is money. Processing DNA samples takes time. If you can shave off minutes per sample, you can experience real savings each year. If you can reduce – or eliminate – the time it takes to deal with contamination or other incidents, there’s more time savings. Here are a few quick examples:

  • In some labs, processing duplicate samples wastes time and money; being able to identify duplicates before they are processed can save you big bucks.
  • Performing peer review on a whole case rather than on each step can save a tremendous amount of time and is smoother than doing it at each step.
  • Preparing for regular audits takes a lab manager’s time away from your regular work – if this time can be reduced, you can be more productive.

To find out if STACS DNA can save your lab money, contact us for an ROI assessment.

What do we get when we buy a STACS solution?

STACS DNA’s products are sold by perpetual license. The software you receive incorporates more than 15 years of experience working with biologists to create functionality specifically designed for DNA labs. A maintenance agreement ensures that you receive all software upgrades and unlimited customer support by telephone or email. You also get access to our customer service portal which gives you additional support resources and where you can post questions or issues for our support team. If you require additional functionality or integration, we have a team of customization experts who would be happy to work with you to meet your requirements. We can also deliver a turnkey solution including all the hardware and software you need to meet your project goals.

What is the implementation process?

We use a seven-step process that we’ve refined over the past 15 years to successfully meet the needs of forensic DNA labs. For details, read more at Engagement Model.

What kind of hardware and software is required for running STACS?

STACS-DB Enterprise and STACS-CW Enterprise run on Windows XP and Windows 7 desktop operating system and Windows Server and SQL Server. Contact us to discuss your specific requirements.

What instruments work with STACS software?

These links will take you to the list of instruments integrated with each of our solutions:

If you use other instruments in your lab, let us know so we can integrate with what you need.

Is your software web-based?

People often turn to a web-based application when they are concerned about the effort involved in updating workstations whenever a new version of software is released. But is a browser always the right choice?

A browser is the best choice for simple applications and ones you use occasionally. Your DNA processing software is a high throughput application that you and your colleagues use all day every day. To do that critical work, you need a smart client geared specifically for your needs and not limited by a browser’s abilities. Anyone who has used Microsoft Outlook® and then tried Hotmail® will understand the difference.

That is why STACS software gives you the best of both worlds – easy upgrades and a fully-featured application. Its Smart Client Architecture eliminates upgrading headaches. The client application does not need to be installed on each workstation. STACS software is installed on the server and runs from the server. The smart client is installed on a file share and is launched from the user’s workstation via a short cut. Individual workstations never need to be upgraded when we release a new version of our product. This saves your IT department a lot of work.

And from a the lab analysts’ perspective, STACS software harnesses all the power and richness of the Microsoft Windows® environment, which gives you what a web-based application cannot:

  • Faster response time
  • Integration with instruments and other software in your lab
  • A rich user interface (showing you plate position detail, for example), geared to reducing steps and increasing productivity

That’s the best solution for both lab analysts and the IT department.

Would you like us to answer your question? Ask away.

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Is your DNA lab ready for growth?

This brief video highlights how STACS DNA helps your DNA laboratory address challenges, including tracking samples, data quality, preventing errors and more.

Visit our video page for more videos that demonstrate what STACS DNA can do for your lab.

What customers are saying about STACS DNA:

“Insanely high throughput with maximum efficiency.”

“There is no way we could process the number of samples we process without it.”

“It is essential to the job we do.”

“We would need more analysts [without STACS DNA software].”

“We’ve increased the size of our database by 60%.”

“STACS removes one giant bottleneck.”

“If people sit down and look at their process, they would understand STACS is the way to go to fix their process.”

“[With STACS DNA,] we were able to customize the program to meet our needs.”

“STACS DNA is willing to work with customers to solve issues that come up.”

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Download the free white paper “The 21st Century Laboratory: The Challenge of Going Paperless”

In this paper, Brian Hoey, Laboratory Manager/DNA Technical leader at the Missouri State Highway Patrol, takes a real-world look at the opportunities and challenges faced by DNA laboratories on the path to paperless.