Make the Best Use of Time and Money by Implementing a Best Practices Chemical Management System

A Chemical Management System Can help labs save time and money
When time is money, a chemical management system can make a difference.
Image source: David Shankbone via Wikimedi.org

I recently attended a meeting with an interesting novelty clock designed to keep meetings short and productive. The clock required two inputs, one for the average hourly rate and one for the number of people in attendance. It then used this information to calculate the cost of the meeting as the time passed. At my particular gathering, there were 10 of us in attendance with an average hourly rate of approximately $50. This meant the meeting cost $500 an hour, or $8.33 per minute. Needless to say, we were very conscious of the length of the meeting with a device tracking time in terms of money.

This clock very clearly illustrated the old adage that time is money. This phrase is just as true in the laboratory as it is in a meeting, which is why laboratory directors should consider investing in a chemical management system.

Chemical management systems can help laboratories save time in the following ways:

  1. Data Entry – As a society, our recordkeeping has evolved by leaps and bounds since Guttenberg invented the movable printing press. One of the greatest breakthroughs came approximately 40 years ago with the invention of the personal computer and the ability to enter data into a spreadsheet to track such items as chemicals in a laboratory. However, we have reached the point in this digital evolution where data entry is unnecessary. Today, many chemical management systems come equipped with bar code scanners that automate the data collection process. This saves employees time and thus money.

  2. Safety Data Sheet Tracking – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires companies that store and use hazardous chemicals to track these items carefully, and make available to employees the related safety data sheets. In practice, these documents generally end up disorganized in a giant binder or filing cabinet. Since keeping this information up-to-date is so time-consuming, many laboratories don’t bother. However, a chemical management system simplifies the process by providing the capability for safety data sheets to be scanned and accessed digitally. The automated tracking of safety data sheets saves time, which in turn saves money.

  3. Fire Code Reporting – Laboratories that keep a reportable quantity of hazardous chemical are required to comply with Tier II Fire Code reporting. This requires the submission of a list of all chemicals requiring safety data sheets. If you are tracking this information by hand, the gathering and compilation of this information can be time-consuming. However, a chemical management system simplifies both the tracking and generation of the report. When time equals money, a chemical management system can bring about big savings.

  4. One System for the Whole Company – Depending upon the size of the company, there may currently be multiple systems supporting the purchase and distribution of chemicals. When this occurs, there will also be a substantial number of hours spent on the maintenance and support of these systems. Alternatively, a chemical management system provides a single operation and only requires a fraction the support of other systems, especially when you add in the cost of system upgrades for all those others.

Unfortunately, many laboratories do not realize how much time is spent tracking chemicals, and in turn, how much unnecessary costs add up. However, the total time, and thus cost, can be reduced with a best practices chemical management system. Furthermore, with less time spent on processes that eat up time, more effort can be put towards innovation, which is always good for a lab’s bottom line. For more information regarding how BIOVIA CISPro can help your laboratory save time and money, please visit our website today.

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