The Three Hidden Benefits of a Chemical Inventory Management System
When I talk with people about chemical inventory management systems, most can quickly identify the surface level benefits. These usually include improved chemical tracking, the reduction of disposal costs and the ability to create a lean chemical inventory. However, these aren’t the only advantages provided by a chemical inventory management system.
The fact is that chemical inventory management systems can help laboratories save money, eliminate safety risks and increase productivity. Below are three little-considered benefits of implementing a chemical management system:
- Increasing Cash Flow
We have all heard the financial phrase, “Cash is King.” Money management is the most important component of any business, because it facilitates the payment of employees, the purchase of assets and ensures that the lights stay on. Although scientists maybe don’t think about cash flow as much as other businesses, it is still the underlying foundation upon which laboratories are built.
The money-conscious laboratory manager should constantly be on the lookout for ways to free up revenue. One area that sometimes does not get enough consideration is inventory management, especially crucial for labs that are essentially functioning in the small business space. Each reagent purchased essentially ties up resources and prevents that money from being utilized elsewhere in the lab. For laboratories that use a lot of reagents, this can represent a lot of money.
However, a chemical inventory management system can provide accurate information such as current on-hand quantities that will allow lab managers to more effectively manage their inventory levels. With this information, lab managers can reduce the amount of inventory to only the necessary levels, freeing up cash in the process.
- Reduce Accident Risks
Information is your most valuable asset when it comes to reducing safety risks. Laboratory managers who have a strong understanding of the types of chemicals stored at a site have the ability to implement safety classes or ensure that employees understand the safe handling procedures for the chemicals they are using. In turn, this works to reduce the risk of accidents.
Unfortunately, without a chemical inventory management system, information regarding on-site chemicals can be harder to obtain. The necessary documents might be stored in a database restricted to particular individuals, lost in a notebook on someone’s desk or even locked inside the laboratory manager’s own mind. This lack of information availability can potentially increase the risk of accidents.
Inventory management systems increase the availability of information regarding chemicals and reagents by centralizing all of it within a single accessible database. Compliance officers can then use this information to ensure that proper safety training is taking place, thus reducing the risk of accidents.
- Increase Productivity
Another hidden cost related to inventory is in the number of hours it takes to properly manage it. This includes month-end inventory counts for accounting purposes, preparing reports for regulators and the opportunity cost associated with the time spent on these activities that could be applied elsewhere.
An effective chemical management system can help increase productivity by automating a number of these labor-intensive tasks. Although it cannot count the inventory for you, it can track the last location of each chemical so that employees know exactly where to look. Regulatory reports can be easily generated using the system, reducing the countless hours spent manually gathering and creating these reports. All of this frees up employees to spend more time on productive tasks.
Finding every opportunity to increase your bottom line
When evaluating chemical inventory management systems, the savings are not just at the surface level. When you start digging further, you will realize that there are more savings than immediately apparent, particularly with regard to cash flow, reducing accident risks and increasing productivity. For more information regarding BIOVIA CISPro and how it can help manage your chemical inventory, please visit our website today.