How do you keep track of your lab orders? Still using a clipboard with a pencil tied to it? Using an excel spreadsheet? If the answer is yes, well, you need to update yourself and move to a web-based lab ordering management system that will really enable you to track your orders efficiently. Implementing a centralized lab inventory management system eases day-to-day stock purchase orders and inventory monitoring and will result in huge time saving and mainly be cost effective.
Lab material ordering checklist
When dealing with lab material ordering, it is imperative for lab managers to maintain records with the following details:
- Which items were ordered & in which quantities
- When was the last time this item was ordered?
- Can I easily locate price quotes and additional related files for past orders?
- Who ordered a certain item and is it specifically for this person?
Once an order has arrived:
- Does it match the purchase order?
- Who received it?
- Where was it placed in the lab?
Lab Ordering Management System
Maintaining the above prerequisites will enable you to streamline your orders. You can maintain lab ordering on spreadsheets and binders. Maybe it will be sufficient, not necessarily efficient.
By implementing a lab ordering management system like Labguru, you will be able to cost-effectively supervise the daily activity of the lab from workflow to maintenance to administration, and keep your laboratory organized and efficient.
A good lab ordering system will enable you to:
- Centralize order requests, approvals and pending orders
- Make ordering status visible to all lab members
- Streamline order requests and approvals
- Eliminate duplicate orders and save money
- Ensure lab members have the materials needed to optimize their research efforts
- Designate new orders storage location using labguru storage module and link each item to its storage location
- Get notified when the stock is low via the low stocks alert system, that notifies when it’s time to place a new order
The general idea is to centralize and facilitate all requests in one place, approve them, based on budgets and lab managers’ decisions and then order them via your vendor/university purchasing systems (you can also attach quotes received from vendors to the shopping list for your records).
Labguru shopping List Module
The shopping list is an internal order management tool that helps you follow up on requests/needs from team members, compare/assign them to budgets, as well as putting a permission-based approval system in the process. The shopping list module has pre-designed fields that can be customized to fit your needs.
When a lab member with permissions to approve orders (usually lab manager/tech) approves an order it stays in the shopping list and turns to ‘pending delivery’ status. When it arrives at the lab, any member can mark it as arrived and log where the item was placed. The person who originally placed the order will receive an email letting them know their item has arrived and will be able to easily check where was it placed.
Tal Yehuda, Ph.D., a Lab Manager from Tel Aviv University has told us: “The Labguru Inventory module saves money by preventing items from being ordered twice or more, or from getting lost due to improper cataloging. Labguru helps a lot in saving time performing each order: We can see what needs to be ordered anytime from anywhere, no need for each lab member to personally look for me if an order is required.”
Nir Sadeh, a lab manager from the Food, Agriculture, and Environment faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said that “Labguru has made ordering materials very simple for all members of our lab…Students don’t need to consult anybody before ordering anything, and I simply need to approve the orders already performed. Labguru greatly improved our day-to-day life in the lab.”
No doubt that dealing with lab orders is boring, cumbersome and mundane and something that no one wants to do. However, since it involves considerable amounts of money and time, it is advised to simplify ordering as much as possible.
Contact us – to learn more about Labguru´s Inventory Management and ELN.