3 Ways to a More Organized & Better-Controlled Inventory
There are a number of industries that are so focused on providing specific and outstanding products and services, it is understandable that inventory management might turn into a major challenge. Examples include the medical device, pharmaceutical and automotive industries — if everyone is understandably homed in on fulfilling patient medicine needs and/or automotive repairs, for example, the inventory room might end up being an afterthought.
At the same time, these industries need organized inventories. For instance, if an automotive service needs to order a part they thought they had on hand, it can lead to a significant delay and a frustrated customer. The same is true for medical device companies and pharmaceutical businesses that have to delay fulfilling orders due to a mismanaged inventory.
Fortunately, having a well-organized and managed inventory is not that difficult — with a solid combination of dedication and specific tips, you can have a well-stocked supply room that will save your business both time and money. For example, consider the following tips.
Buy a Variety of Small and Often-Used Parts in Bulk
If you find that you frequently use a number of specific small parts, you might want to look into ordering them in bulk. Not only will this save your company money, it will also help to ensure that you always have these small but key pieces on hand at all times. A great example of this is o-rings, which are used in medical devices and the automotive industry; you can purchase them in a number of commonly used sizes from a manufacturer like Apple Rubber; they have more than 7,000 sizes of o-rings in stock as well as a tooling process that allows them to add more sizes to their inventory on a daily basis. You can use their online search tool to help determine which sizes you need for your company and then keep a variety of sizes on hand so you will never run out of what you need.
Next, Use an Inventory Management Software System
Once you have a good supply of your most-needed and used items, you will want to have a tangible way to keep tabs on what you have, and what you need to order as soon as possible. Even those bins of o-rings must be accounted for and organized so you always have enough in your inventory. While you may have traditionally relied on a spreadsheet or pen and paper method to track your supplies, this is not always completely accurate and it can also be time consuming. Instead, look into an inventory management software system that will allow you to take control of even the largest inventory with a few quick clicks on your computer. You can either opt for a generic software program that will work on any type of inventory or go for one that is specific to your industry; for example, Sortly.com notes that medical inventory management software typically comes in the form of an app, as well as a cloud-based system that will keep tabs on equipment along with medication expiration dates and supply stock levels.
Closely Monitor Your Shipments
In addition to having a well-organized stock room, Camcode says inventory control also involves closely reviewing any and all shipments that come in. Carefully inspect all packing slips to be sure your entire order was included, taking the time to count items to ensure accuracy. If anything is missing or damaged during transit, file a claim with the vendor immediately. This way, you will avoid an inventory loss at the time the shipment arrives and avoid not having crucial parts and supplies.
A Well-Organized Inventory Can Be Yours
As you can see, even the busiest industries can have a well-controlled inventory. By adopting these tips, the largest to the smallest parts will be organized and accounted for, which will allow you to focus even more on your patients’ and customers’ needs.