Inventory control is an essential component of proper lab management. Through automation, software, and good logs, inventory control and compliance become effortless. What’s more, labs that promote inventory discipline are also more likely to put patient safety as a top priority.
However, there are additional benefits to better inventory control. If organization is severely lacking in your lab, you should consider focusing on improving it for the following reasons.
Why Automatic Inventory Management is Essential For Labs
While it’s possible to survive with a manual inventory management process, your lab will become more productive if you immediately switch over to an automated system.
1) Human Error or Mistakes Becomes Less of a Consistent Issue
Inventory management can be complex if it’s performed manually, but if you don’t keep your stock organized at all, you’re going to find more errors across the board. In industries where customers or clients are actually consuming or using your products, you can’t take any chances.
Human error becomes more consistent when labs are stretched thin, and they often are due to budgeting restrictions. With automated or software-based inventory systems, you can ensure your lab techs stay in tip-top shape because they’ll have more time to send on what matters.
2) Replacing Expired Inventory Become Less Tedious
One of the constant issues with lab inventory is knowing when products or solutions expire, but lab inventory management software can help with that. Instead of physically or manually checking your stock daily, you can log into your computer and check shelf-life in real-time.
With pinged updates, your lab techs and scientists don’t even need to look at the software until a product or solution is flagged in the system. Not only will you free up time in your lab, but you save money on labor, which is essential in industries that don’t have a consistent cash flow.
3) Completely Removes Intuitive Stocking Practices From Labs
Labs like to cut costs by adopting intuitive stocking practices, but they aren’t efficient nor safe. Even if your lab techs have the best memory on the planet, they won’t be able to remember what they need to order or when to create an invoice for your suppliers every single time.
Automated inventory software can let your lab techs know if stock is running low. Depending on your customization features, it can also flag your lab staff or automatically send for a restock. With automatic restocks, your team will always have what they need, when they need it.
4) Staying Up-To-Date With Medications Becomes Simple
Labs waste a lot of time ensuring they stay HIPAA compliant. Some labs will spend hours a week looking up newsletters and reading emails about recalled or obsolete products. With automated lab inventory software, you can receive live information about these products.
With this information, laboratories won’t accidentally order the wrong products, create unnecessary budgetary waste, or endanger patients due to inaccurate results or dangerous procedures. You can rest assured that your software will update you on the latest news.
5) Faulty Charge Capturing or Order Mishaps Are Less Frequent
A majority of labs are grouped with pharmacies, which means they have to accept payment from their customers. Even when they aren’t, they still have to buy supplies and equipment from suppliers. Either way, faulty charge capturing happens more frequently with manual processes.
However, automated systems leave you at a reduced risk for medication errors, costly errors, and chargebacks, meaning you’re less likely to mischarge, misplace, or omit items from invoices. Your software will simply populate customer/client data and charge them appropriately.
6) Automated Lab Software Also Comes With Analytics Reporting
It used to take entire teams of accounting, marketing, and sales staff to compile and post analytics for labs. Now, automated software can create real-time reports that allow you to analyze expenses, efficiency, and usage without costing your lab an arm and a leg.
Remember that you’re adopting an inventory management system to become more productive. By using automation to predict workloads, staffing conflicts, and performance, you can determine where your lab can become even more productive, efficient, and stable.