Inventory management is among the high-level challenges for every diagnostics lab. Hiring an essential analytics expert might help. From minimizing manual input to reducing manual effort, redundancy, implementation of controls, better algorithms and tracks interrupt our main goal. Apart from these, there are a few common lab inventory management problems that are hard to track & fix. These require effective inventory management strategies for laboratories and your attention to improve usage, and drive better business outcomes.
Problem 1: Wastage in Lab Inventory Management due to expired stock
Labs often fail to keep track of stock expiry dates which are the implication of poor stock control and results in a heavy quantity of stock wastage. The larger the inventory in your store, the more will be wasted if not done systematically. On the other hand, tracking expiry can be tough due to several inventory control issues in labs such as having too much, incomplete, complex, or no data in hand. The effects of poor inventory management highly influence the cost of a diagnostic inventory business, especially for mid-size to larger labs and enterprise centers. In the worst-case scenario, prioritizing expiry is another bottleneck for a lab. This calls for a better approach to stock maintenance and lab inventory tracking and control systems to prevent wastage.
Solution: Keep track of near-expiry products and adopt inventory planning and various inventory management techniques
Keeping track of near-to-expire stock is of utmost importance to take better action. However, it is also important to re-evaluate stock every 30 days and cross-check its consumption, for better knowledge of expiry. By using the benefits of inventory management labs can make better decisions before expiry takes place, only to prevent wastage.
Click on the link below to start with the types of lab inventory control techniques at your medical center
Problem 2: Wastage due to sporadic consumption of stock at the device level
When labs do not maintain machine calibration, quality checks, and other quality analysis procedures, their inventory management is highly impacted. Since this leads to (sporadic) overconsumption due to poor quality control, there is stock wastage which affects the quality of tests. Therefore, such hard-to-locate lab inventory management challenges must be eradicated.
Solution: Track and maintain stock consumption at the device and test level
Despite maintaining QC regularly, we must enable tracking, and maintain stock consumption at both device, test levels for understanding the problem. This will enable smooth consumption without any potential leakages or we can say unnecessary wastage.
Problem 3: Inefficient Capital management by overstocking
Overstocking is another very crucial inventory management challenge that labs mainly ignore to consider as one. Although, overstocking is the biggest reason for wastage. It does not just show us how inefficiently we handle our monthly inventory lab pricing but also hampers conversion, leading to a heavy loss for months.
Solution: Order based on past consumption
To maintain inventory lab pricing, it is essential to access past consumption regularly while placing orders. While we follow this approach month by month, it improves user efficiency and gives us enough knowledge about consumption against purchases; helping us with better management of the lab inventory.
Know how better data management at lab inventory can prevent leakages
Problem 4: Unavailability of stock at peak time
Stock unavailability leads to heavy loss of customers, business, and reputation loss; as you lose a great opportunity to scale. The cause of unavailability of stock can be due to several reasons that altogether point to poor lab inventory management. Some of these reasons might also match the above laboratory inventory system challenges.
Solution: Plan purchase orders properly based on past consumption
When you have enough appropriate knowledge of your past consumption, you can evaluate the peak times of business well. A seasonality-based analysis of consumption over a year is of utmost importance to study such problems. Also, derive loopholes to get better methods of inventory control for well managed inventory in healthcare labs. Solutioning such a key problem even helps against something like a pandemic.
Problem 5: Responsive Lab Inventory Management rather than preventive maintenance
Inventory issue handling and lab Inventory issues management for a diagnostic lab is typically performed using a responsive approach wherein data is looked at after an error/problem is depicted. This is why most labs fail at planning better methods of inventory control for their business despite using feasible management strategies. An effective Inventory tracking system with proper handling, managing & maintenance of stock can improve the overall flow of stock data, thus, minimizing the occurrence of errors/problems beforehand.
Solution: Have access to real-time data
Access to all data associated with the laboratory inventory systems such as stock data, stock consumption data, expiry data, and many others, in real-time is the key to enabling a lab to plan preventive strategies. Solutions for managing lab supplies and equipment and following them timely broadly help us with error control, leakage control, and more notably inventory lab pricing.
To conclude, a major challenge in inventory management is to maintain various types of lab inventory control techniques. Having lab inventory management software is extremely essential with its benefits of inventory management. It sets a tracker to lab stock, its consumption, and expiry and provides inputs to verify quality suppliers and purchases.