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7 Ways to Stay on Top of Your Lab’s Inventory

Inventory management presents many challenges for laboratories, big and small. Maintaining compliance, staying on budget, and ensuring reagents and other consumables are used resourcefully can get overly complicated.

Simplifying lab inventory processes should be a top priority when evaluating productivity and budgeting. Accurate and efficient inventory practices are necessary for clinical labs to ensure valid patient results, maintain costs, and maximize performance. 

Here are seven ways to effectively manage inventory in your lab

  1. Use inventory management software to track supplies in real-time, so you’ll always know what supplies you have on hand. Software like Lab Symplified uses a barcode scanning system to manage your inventory in real time.
  2. Establish par levels for each supply type to ensure that the correct amount is always on hand.
  3. Set up low-stock, out-of-stock, and expiring-soon alerts to trigger automatic notifications that ensure timely replenishment. Inventory Management Software allows you to set up customizable notifications, so you are continuously updated about your inventory status. 
  4. Implement a first-in, first-out (FIFO) system to ensure that older supplies are used before expiration. For example, software like Lab Symplified has safeguards that prevent your staff from using new supplies before the old ones run out.
  5. Regularly review and assess inventory usage patterns to identify and eliminate over and under-ordering.
  6. Properly organize your storage with labels and shelf bins. The efficient organization makes it easier to find and retrieve items when needed, saving time and reducing the risk of lost or misplaced items.
  7. Train staff on proper inventory management techniques regularly and ensure they understand the importance of adhering to all the rules.

Too many problematic inventory practices slow down work and contribute to unnecessary expenses. While manual inventory management methods can be a solution, they are time-consuming, prone to errors, and lack real-time data and reporting capabilities. Streamlining inventory management in the medical laboratory is a small investment with significant returns.

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