Running a medical lab is an important job with a lot of responsibilities. One of these responsibilities includes stock maintenance. You must understand how to properly manage an inventory to run a smooth and well-operated lab. Here are five tips for effectively managing your medical lab inventory.
1. Create a Stocklist
The first tip for effectively managing your medical lab inventory is to create a stocklist. Writing down a stocklist is helpful because it allows you to list all the necessary supplies you need to run your lab and how much of each. In addition, stocklists familiarize you with the items you use the most and which ones have a higher turnover rate. Stocklists also allow you to determine your minimum and maximum stock levels. A minimum stock level is the smallest amount of inventory with which your lab can function, while a maximum stock level is the largest amount.
How To Create a Stocklist:
- Make a list of every item you have in your inventory in one column.
- Make a column for detailed descriptions of each item.
- Make a column for the individual price of each item.
- Make a column for the number of units you currently have in stock for each item.
Once you have your stocklist written up, you can easily see your whole inventory in an organized manner. You can determine how many units you have of each item and how much each item will cost. Seeing these costs will allow you to create a budget for your inventory and will enable you to see where and how you should save money and cut down costs with the items you do not need. You will need to consistently update the data in your stocklist each time you purchase new inventory. Staying consistent with this practice will help you remain organized and on top of your stock and inventory needs.
2. Organize Your Inventory
Organizing your inventory is the second tip for managing your medical lab inventory effectively. Getting your lab organized will help you keep better track of your inventory. It is helpful to categorize your inventory in a way that makes sense to you and tells you where to keep everything. For example, you will want to keep all the wound care products in one designated space. It’s a good idea to utilize labels when organizing. You may also want to use categorizing methods like alphabetical order and color-coding to help you make sense of your inventory.
How To Organize Your Inventory
- Start by sorting your stock based on form and function.
- The material’s name and use.
- Place each category in its specific location within your lab.
- Label your items and supplies so that you can determine their category and location after use.
- Put everything back in the correct place when you are not using it.
- Keep countertops and cabinets clean and free of unnecessary clutter.
Organizing your inventory will greatly benefit you in being able to manage your medical lab inventory effectively. A clean and tidy workspace helps in any industry, including the medical field. Make sure to stay on top of your organization so that your lab never becomes messy or difficult to handle or navigate.
3. Identify What You Don’t Need
The third tip for medical lab inventory management is identifying what you don’t need. Once you’ve created a stocklist, you will have a pretty good idea of what items you use more than others. If you notice items on your list that you rarely or never use, then make a note of that so that you don’t purchase them again. Cutting back on purchasing unused items will help you save money and keep track of your overall inventory. Continuously purchasing and replenishing the items you don’t need will only add to clutter and make your lab more difficult to organize.
How To Determine What You Don’t Need
- Study your stocklist and purchasing patterns and take note of what you are buying most and what you are buying least.
- Make a list of all the items you are buying the least.
- Notice if there are any items you have stopped buying altogether.
- Go over this list and decide where you are able to cut down on costs effectively.
- If the item is not a necessity to the overall function of your lab and you haven’t purchased much of it, then it’s probably safe to get rid of completely.
Determining what items in your inventory you no longer need will allow you to cut down on costs and will give you the ability to purchase more of what you do need. Make checks regularly when you maintain your inventory to go back over your stock and what you could maybe cut back on.
4. Invest in Inventory Management Software
Investing in inventory management software is the fourth tip. Managing your stock with an automated data inputting system reduces manual labor and allows for a more accurate system. In addition, inventory management software makes it easier to keep track of your stock levels and determine what you do or don’t need to purchase more consistently.
5. Maintain Your Inventory Regularly
The last tip is to maintain your inventory regularly. Maintenance of your inventory includes regularly creating stocklists and taking account of stock levels, cleaning and organizing your lab supplies, and replenishing stock when necessary. It can be helpful to schedule a specific day and time dedicated to maintaining your inventory. Depending on how often it works for you, you can choose to do this maintenance once a week or once a month. Performing all the tasks on this list of tips will help you maintain your stock consistently and accurately.
Now that you have five tips for effectively managing your medical lab inventory, you can begin the process in your own lab. Check out American Hospital Supply’s selection of medical lab equipment today!