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MSC Celebrates Twenty-Fifth Anniversary

Established Software Company Has a Strong Future

April 1, 2011, marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Mountain States Consulting, LLC's (MSC's) founding. The reasons for the company's success - the affordability, flexibility, and rapid deployment of its software product - insures its ongoing relevance in an ever-changing technological landscape.

To the average person, focusing on the minutia of laboratory data might not sound like the most interesting line of work. Especially over the long haul. But to the dedicated management and staff of MSC, developers of MSC-LIMS (MSC's laboratory information management system), nothing could be more rewarding.

MSC-LIMS' Flexibility in Many Labs

MSC's quarter-century milestone results from the company's commitment to delivering innovative software solutions.

Rick Collard, MSC's founder and chief software developer, concurs: "We owe our success and longevity to the continuous improvement of our product and our dedication to customer service. We are very proud of our growth and the fact that MSC-LIMS has been implemented in over 100 labs around the world."

Testifying to its flexibility, the product meets the diverse needs of many types of labs. Installations include water and wastewater, commercial environmental, and microbiology labs; petrochemical testing, food testing, and materials testing labs; medical research and process control labs.

While MSC-LIMS off-the-shelf can be readily configured by the user, many labs request customizations. The variety of individualized customizations keeps MSC-LIMS programmers intrigued. "It's always a new situation, or a different twist on things."

25 years ago...

By 1986, Mr. Collard had put in his time with leading corporations including Eastman Kodak, Hercules, and Eaton-Kenway. The opportunities presented by emerging technologies inspired him to establish MSC.

"I like to problem-solve. And in those first eight or nine years after I started my own contract programming and consulting business, it was exhilarating to work on different projects. Each assignment addressed a different problem, used a different technology and a different platform."

Even while building MSC's reputation for solid programming under a diversity of conditions, Mr. Collard eagerly anticipated the challenge of creating a single product: one that would be useful, efficient, and could be rapidly deployed at more than one installation. When opportunity knocked, MSC was ready.

"In 1995 we were asked to design a custom laboratory information management system for the City of Cheyenne's water/wastewater lab," Mr. Collard recalls. That first version of MSC-LIMS quickly became a vital tool in the daily operations of the laboratory, confirming the need for reliable software in small- to mid-sized labs.

In 1996 MSC-LIMS was formally released and was quickly adopted by other labs. Its growth continues.

Still Relevant After All These Years

Fifteen years is a long time for any single technology application to be available - let alone relevant, useful and affordable as is MSC-LIMS.

Giving credit where credit is due, Mr. Collard observes, "It's also impressive that Microsoft Access has been around for that long; that's what has allowed us to keep the product affordable, because it's not continually moving from one technology to another."

MSC-LIMS' use of a single development platform - Microsoft Access - insures continuity. It also guarantees that the effort that may have gone into porting the software to a different product or platform, can instead go into responding to customer's needs and improving the product. "Access is still going to be around for years, with continuous improvements," Mr. Collard predicts.

The Future...

MSC sets the pace for affordable, user-friendly lab software.

Contemplating the next decade Mr. Collard confirms, "We will continue to provide high quality software and exemplary customer service to lab professionals in the rapidly evolving laboratory profession."

Computer technology is still evolving and going strong, and so is MSC.

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