Do you ever sit down at the end of the day and wonder where in the world the day went? I know I do. It feels like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to pause time, get caught up and then press play again? It sure would be helpful some days.
Unfortunately, I can’t freeze time for you, but I can help you save a little bit of time during the day with a few inventory tips and tricks.
Tips for Spending Less Time Managing Inventory
1. Focus on the items that matter most (like vaccines and the things you’re always reaching for) — figure out what you use most and what seems to always be running low. This is where your energy will be best spent. Don’t spend a ton of time on the items that don’t matter as much (like tongue depressors). It’s helpful to prioritize your time so that equal energy isn’t spent managing something very valuable to your practice versus something that is barely ever used. This allows your time to be freed up so you can get back to what matters most faster.
2. Create a system with reorder points. I talk about this a lot and it’s because it is so important! Reorder points help to quantify what low means and will serve as “flag” when something is low, rather than relying on the want book or shaking bottles. This can be a physical reminder (like reorder tags) or a digital system (like your practice management system or Inventory Ally). I classify reorder points into three different categories:
- Physical reorder points (like reorder tags, reorder bins, etc) that work great for hospital supplies or other consumables
- Electronic reorder points that work great for items that are dispensed or tracked in your practice management system
- Visual or manual reorder points (like a checklist, using the “want book”, etc) that work great for any items but especially for “zones” of the practice, like the vaccine refrigerator or dental cart
3. Streamline your inventory and intentionally stock products that make the most sense for your unique practice. One of the biggest reasons for high inventory costs that I see are a) too many products on the shelf or b) overstock of individual products. Streamlining your inventory can not only help control your inventory costs but, can help save time ordering, receiving, monitoring, and just even trying to find where products “live”. Need help with this? My latest free inventory guide is now available! You can download my framework for leaning out your inventory and watch the free lesson >> HERE <<.
Imagine how hard it would be to quickly find what you need in this storage room.
Image courtesy of gregoryschmidt.ca
4. Make a plan for your next order. When will you place it? When and who will handle the receiving? What controlled substance receiving procedures need to be followed? Setting up this kind of routine will help you make the best use of your time. Tip: Have your procedures outlined so that when your practice is busy, you can either delegate as needed or have a roadmap outlined so you know exactly where to start and what to do.
No more digging and rummaging and searching. Set up good habits and build on them as you go.
Last but not least, please don’t forget to take time to acknowledge all of your hard work. It might feel like you are always running behind or trying to doggy paddle through the day. But it is important to remember that your patients love you. They trust you and are so thankful for you. So even though it seems like the day is speeding by, take a second right now to pause and give yourself a little pat on the back. Because you really are doing great.
You are an asset to your team.
Your presence and talents are so needed and wanted.
Wherever you are at, whatever you are doing… you are enough!
I hope that you’ll give yourself some grace this week and take a moment to celebrate how amazing you are!