Medical inventory management software is the next frontier for many medical practices, but there are some important principles to remember as you begin the process of choosing and utilizing this technology.
You Get Out What You Put In
This is the golden rule of inventory management! Today’s software programs are intuitive and powerful, but they still depend on the information you put into them. There are many examples of companies that invest millions into systems but then fail to set up or use the program correctly. The result is lost productivity and increased costs.
Educate Your Employees
Make sure you take time to let all of your employees know what’s going on. Those who will be using the system need to be trained properly. Even nonusers need to be aware that you are now tracking inventory. Proper training upfront will save you from many headaches down the road.
Integrate with Your Suppliers
Make sure the inventory management system you choose can integrate with suppliers and vendors. This can eliminate steps from the purchasing process and let you track your current supply, pending orders, and how much you will spend with each supplier.
Use Expiring Items First
One of the biggest challenges of managing inventory without software is tracking expiring products. Having an inventory system can solve this problem, but you still have to make sure your staffs
Make Sure You Have Support
Some of the best-known software systems in the world do not include support in the price for their systems. It is imperative that you can get support from your software company or a third party provider. It is rare to get a refund in the software world because most problems are caused by user error. Companies that provide support for their software should be at the top of your list when deciding on what system to buy.
Set and Reevaluate PAR Levels
PAR (Periodic Automatic Replacement) levels are the key metric that makes your system capable of automating your purchasing process. Being within PAR levels means you don’t have too little or too much of an item. It is important not only to set PAR levels correctly but also to reevaluate them periodically to ensure that your predictions were accurate (some systems do this automatically but still need to be monitored).
Maintain Minimum Stock Levels
It’s not very hard to understand that keeping too much inventory can be costly, but many people do not consider the costs of not having enough inventory on hand. Are out of stocks costing you customers? Are you spending lots of money on rush shipping? Think about these situations in your business and how much they may cost you. Make sure you set minimum stock levels for the items you know you will need.
Customize When Possible
Most inventory management systems allow you to customize the information you can put into them. Custom fields, reports, dashboards, and other functions can be the difference in you loving or hating your system. Make sure to find out if you can customize your system before purchasing it. Also, see if it is a free service or if it will cost you more.
Evaluate Your Reports
The best systems in the world will fail if they go unmonitored. You made the investment to use an inventory management system, so make sure you’re evaluating the results. Preset and customized reporting can give you a better picture of what’s going on in your business.
Patience Pays Off
Investing in business software should not be a rushed decision. Take your time and find out what’s best for you. Also, take your time to set everything up properly. Rushing through these processes or taking shortcuts during implementation will most likely end up in dissatisfaction (remember the golden rule).