Does your hospital struggle with when to order an item and exactly how much to order? Does it feel like you are always running out of items or items are expiring left and right? Do you solely rely on your “want book” to know when to order something?

Utilizing reorder points and reorder quantities can help shift from reactionary ordering (ahhh, we ran out of this!!) to an inventory strategy. It allows for us to plan for the future based upon previous usage in your practice. Think about it, if you go grocery shopping after work when you are exhausted, you don’t have a list or meal plan, and there’s a million people in the grocery store. You’re likely to end up with a bunch of snacks, nothing for a full meal, and way over budget. It’s the same with your inventory. No plan and strategy (or worse, reactionary ordering) puts you at risk for excessive costs, over ordering, and potential excess stock.

This is where reorder points come in to play! Reorder points and reorder quantities can help set a strong inventory strategy foundation. By implementing these, it can aid in keeping things running smoothly and efficiently. As an added bonus, once reorder points are set up in your practice management software, it will allow you to print out a report that tells you exactly what to order, and how much. Although it depends on your practice management software, most are set up with this capability.

So first of all, what is a reorder point? A reorder point is basically a level of inventory at which point you place an order for a specific amount. So, a reorder point is the point at which you would place an order and reorder quantity is the quantity that you would order. Reorder points should always be calculated based upon your usage and not previous purchases (except when there is no usage data available). This information can typically be found in most practice management software systems using some kind of income report. (Need to know exactly what report to use, or where to find it? Email me!)

There are several different types of reorder points that you can use in your practice. There are electronic reorder points, such as ones that are set up in your practice management software systems or dispensing cabinets. You can also use physical reorder points, such as reorder bins or tags. Lastly, there are manual reorder points, such as your want book or “stocking” checklists. You can utilize any combination of the above types of reorder points in your reorder strategy.

If you are interested in learning more about how to create, implement, and use reorder tags, you can watch the free webinar inside of the Veterinary Inventory Strategy Network.

Using your practice management system to setup reorder points for hospital supplies is a bit more challenging. Using reorder points accurately depends on accurate on-hand amounts in the software. Knowing that, it’s typically easier to set up physical or manual reorder information for hospital supplies. Because it can be difficult to track usage of a hospital supply in your practice management software, the easiest thing is to get your usage report from your main distributor or from Vetcove. Vetcove keeps track of your order quantities from all your distributors and vendors in one location!

Your turn! Tell us in the comments below; do you use reorder points in your hospital now? If not, do you think they would be helpful for your practice?

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