3 Reasons Your Chemical Inventory Management Process Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)

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Acquiring and managing your chemical inventory seems pretty straightforward. You buy what you need, keep track of what you have, and if somebody asks what you have, you tell them.

If only it were that simple. While the buying part is still straightforward, most organizations stumble when it comes to tracking. And once tracking falters, the whole process collapses.

See if these sound familiar.

1. Your chemical inventory tracking system depends on everyone buying in – and staying committed

If you’re depending on researchers and support staff to take extra steps to keep your records up-to-date, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Why? Like everyone else these days, they’re being asked to produce more with less, and their core job functions will always trump entering information into your chemical inventory tracking system.

2. Because no one knows what you already have – everyone keeps buying more

If your researchers and staff don’t have visibility into chemical inventory levels or don’t trust the numbers they see, they will most likely order more. It’s the path of least resistance and it guarantees they’ll have the materials they need.

3. Since everyone keeps buying more – your data is never correct

Without real-time visibility into your chemical inventory levels, your only remaining option is a manual count. But because a manual count is inherently time-consuming – and during that time people will be both using and buying more inventory – it will be out of date by the time you finish.

When your chemical inventory management process collapses to this point, you’re left with a laborious process that yields no use or value beyond required reporting. You can report on risks, which you can’t significantly avoid or mitigate, and you can provide a count (that’s likely outdated).

It is possible to have a chemical inventory management process that actually works, benefits your bottom line, and supports compliance. The trick is to make sure tracking doesn’t falter – and that requires you to take a fundamentally different approach to how you manage chemicals and other research materials.

Read our detailed explanation in our latest white paper: Achieve Sustainable Management of Research Chemicals – A Guide to Critical Capabilities and share with us your thoughts on Twitter!

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