Automated Inventory Management Holds the Key to Better Research

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Perspectives and lessons learned from global life science leaders who are using eProcurement to stay ahead of the research curve.

As a researcher, your main objective is to make impactful scientific discoveries that can improve the quality of peoples’ lives. After all, this is why many go into the sciences in the first place—to change the world.

But the truth is, many lab scientists are spending an inordinate amount of time on administrative activities, especially when it comes to tracking chemical lab stocks and reagents. This is because chemical substances are very highly regulated, and there is a lot of data that needs to be gathered and processed in order to vet substances and comply with regulatory agencies.

So how can you get back to the business of making life-changing discoveries? Inventory management may hold the key.

The Life Sciences Conundrum

Traditional laboratory practices are rooted in manual processes and legacy thinking, yet are driven by innovation. This poses an interesting conundrum: How can life science organizations evolve to more modern digital business practices if they are stuck in old-school processes, spreadsheets, and manual tracking? Many lab scientists have a desire to evolve to more streamlined practices, but feel blocked by the inherent challenges of the industry, such as:

  1. Maintaining regulatory compliance is complicated. The layers involved in vetting and meeting regulatory standards of substances can be very wide and deep. This is especially true when it comes to chemicals that pose health, environmental and security risks. Manual tracking methods pose too many risks for error and waste. That’s why organizations need tools and processes to optimize chemical inventory and promote regulatory compliance with built-in checks on certifications, purchase limits and proper handling of chemicals.
  2. Keeping inventory visible is a struggle. Outdated spreadsheets and poor inventory tracking make it difficult for researchers to see what’s available to them in real time. It’s not uncommon for orders to be duplicated or inventory wasted due to expiration. Tools that give labs access to real-time data allows researchers to save costs by reordering only what they, when they need it.
  3. Researchers are not motivated to improve inventory practices. Many lab scientists don’t find the value in improving purchasing processes because they don’t know how it could benefit them. The fact of the matter is, streamlined, automated inventory management ensures researchers can access chemicals and reagents exactly when needed and can trust those materials are reliable, meet regulations, are free of contaminants and haven’t expired.

Better Inventory Management Means Better Research

According to Gartner, “supply chain leaders in life sciences organizations should adopt a bimodal strategy, embracing innovation along with managing the daily execution of their supply chains.” This is easier than you think. With an automated eProcurement, inventory management system, researchers have the modern business tools they need to manage and use chemicals and substances in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

The best way to illustrate this is with a couple of examples of how some life science leaders are using eProcurement to improve their research efforts:

  1. Global pharmaceutical manufacturer saves over 100% with inventory management tool. A global pharma giant integrated inventory management into their existing SAP system allowing them to build searchable catalogs and libraries, manage compliance and track inventory in real time. The system spanned 15 countries and afforded them significant improvements in spend and compliance—so much so, that they recovered their investment in the very first year of implementation.
  2. The University of Auckland researchers make better decisions at the best price points. The largest university in New Zealand used an automated inventory management tool to support their researchers and provide a single federated search as part of their chemical inventory solution. This single repository of all their available inventory allowed researchers to more easily source what they needed, make better decisions in less time and stay in compliance—all at the best price point.

Spend More Time Discovering

Automated inventory management with eProcurement holds the key to better research efforts. When researchers spend less time tracking and managing chemicals and more time discovering, they are free to innovate and make discoveries that truly matter.


View our latest White Paper, “4 Essential Ways Academic Labs Can Manage Risk and Drive Efficiency With Inventory Management and eProcurement” to learn more.


 

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