The founder of Tribal Software Inc. is Ron Kailey, Jr., a Laboratory Coordinator for a environmental laboratory in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Early in 1992 Ron started looking for a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for his laboratory.
He needed a PC based system that would keep track of samples from log-in to report, keep track of expiration dates, eliminate ghost samples, and help simplify paper work and reports. Most of the LIMS on the market were Mainframe systems for 10 to 50 users. Although these large systems contained a heavy price tag, they were lacking in the needs of a small laboratory.
Ron was successful in finding a few smaller systems, but the small systems appeared to be developed or designed around the needs of the software and not the laboratory. It was as if the programmers were not taking into consideration laboratory needs, but what the computer industry thought their needs were. He soon found out that none of the systems, large or small, would allow laboratory personnel to modify their system. Ron decided to work on creating a mini LIMS or LDMS (Laboratory Data Management System) that a small lab could utilize and have virtually the same capabilities as the Big Boy Systems. He wanted a LIMS that he could modify or adjust to the varying demands of his laboratory.
A computer programmer was hired to assist in creating a suitable laboratory system. They decided to make this custom LIMS in a Microsoft Access Based System. It is fairly easy to find documentation, publication, and training for any Microsoft product. With this readily available training, Ron knew he could make small modifications to his system without any additional expense of a programmer. After many months of phone calls, meetings, and brainstorming, the finished product was ready to install.
This elementary system, very basic in its logic, was a complete success. The original goals was to save his employer some money, and address the major problems his lab was experiencing. This was accomplished with less than 11,000.00 and several months of hard work.
He decided to write an article about the success of the project, and to his surprise several publication were interested. The article was published in two separate Lab publications; "A Laboratory Data Management System for the small laboratory," American Environmental Laboratory, six/96 and "Mini LIMS for Small Labs," Environmental Testing & Analysis, nine/96. The response to the articles were overwhelming. Because of this huge response, and the many requests to purchase the system, he began to conceive of offering a new, more powerful, system to the small laboratories.
After debugging and using the original system for over two years, Ron designed ways to improve and modernize a new system. He thought the system could be offered at an affordable price, a fraction of a custom system and thousands of dollars less than any similar LIMS on the market today. He felt this new system should be known as a Laboratory Data Management System (LDMS) because of the functionality and relationships to the laboratory as a whole.
Ron started the business (Tribal Software) so he could offer small labs an alternative to the large LIMS system. He hired two software engineers and began developing the Tribal-LDMS. Tribal Software was incorporated in April of 1997 and a new management team consisting of 10 men and women was formed. They worked many long hours with the software engineers, and convinced the engineers of developing a User-modifiable product. Tribal software personnel worked hard to develop an innovated, inexpensive, powerful, and user friendly system for small laboratories.
Tribal has found that the new LDMS offers an even broader range of laboratory information management, including complete data management, and all aspects of the modern laboratory. We are confident that Tribal Software’s LDMS will be the standard for small laboratories across the United States. The Tribal-LDMS can meet the needs of personnel down sizing and increasing sample volumes.
In today’s laboratory, we are asked to do more with less people. Laboratories are being forced to automate equipment, eliminate paper problems, and improve the speed of data acquisition. Tribal Software Inc. has done this with the development of the Laboratory Data Management System (LDMS).