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Leverage best practices when implementing a chemical inventory system

Effective inventory management of any kind involves getting the right inventory in the right place at the right time in the right quantity. Chemical inventory management focuses specifically on controlling the activities involved with chemicals used by the organisation.

Optimise safety and quality chemical data management

Companies that utilise chemicals in their labs and their manufacturing processes must manage those chemicals in a safe environment in accordance with government regulations. At a minimum, to ensure that this is accomplished, a system for managing information about the chemical safety and quality data should be established and maintained. Best practices, on the other hand, take this minimum and leverage the management of the chemical inventory by leveraging the abilities of the people, processes, and technology involved to best effect.

Top six reasons why people do inventory

1. “I found stuff we never knew we had.”
2. “Between 10-25 per cent of total chemicals needed to be destroyed. Some dated back to 1990. In fact, I found things with Mercury in them!”
3. “If it’s bar-coded, people are more apt to pay attention to it.”
4. “Once we got it done, it was really easy to isolate where the hazardous materials were.”
5. “It saved money because we bought fewer chemicals and had less disposal costs.”
6. “Under Homeland Security, you must keep track of your hazardous materials.”

Inventory systems support best practices

Best practices are 'best in class' business policies, procedures, and processes that have continuously proven successful for many organisations. Best practices as applied to an organisation’s chemical inventory system are significantly different today than they would have been even a decade ago. With the increased use of commercial software and the outsourcing of Information Technology (IT) tasks, many organisations have implemented an off-the-shelf Chemical Inventory System (CIS) solution to ensure that the processes used to manage the chemical inventory are the most effective possible.

Best practices in chemical inventory management require taking advantage of the latest strategies -- such as Pareto analysis, Just in Time (JIT), and Material Requirements Planning (MRP) – and implementing them in the CIS. Doing so will enable your organisation to perform effective chemical stock monitoring, forecasting, and setting and assessing chemical stock levels, while reducing stock levels, costs, liability, and environmental impact.

Thus, a best practices chemical inventory system that works with other IT solutions enables labs to not only track chemicals location and use, but also generate reports and access hazard information (Figure 1).

Figure 1. A well-designed CIS will integrate with the existing infrastructure and corporate business systems.

White paper identifies critical system components

To help ensure that you know all the components of an effective CIS and how to make it work for you, get a copy of ChemSW’s white paper entitled Best Practices for Managing Chemical Inventory, which details best practices in chemical inventory management and provides insights to ensure system adoption and successful incorporation into lab processes. Reasons why systems fail and why they succeed are examined, as well as the true costs associated with chemical inventory management and cost savings that result when such a system is optimised for maximum effectiveness.

This free, no-obligation white paper delves into the best practices involved in managing chemical inventory to achieve the most effective, holistic chemical inventory system.


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