If you’re reading this, it’s because the system you’re using to manage your chemical inventory probably isn’t working as well as it used to. (Or perhaps it never worked well in the first place!)
As operations, chemical inventories, and R&D all grow and change, so do the demands placed on your chemical inventory management system. Many systems buckle under this added pressure — increasing risk, adding administrative burden, and reducing productivity for you, your team, and everyone else. That can be a recipe for disaster.
We’re here to help. So take a second, breathe, and congratulate yourself on addressing this issue. Let’s dive in!
Software is an invaluable resource. Since software makes scaling possible and people more productive, you’ve probably seen chemical inventories at your site get more extensive and more complicated over time.
Think of all the things that need to be tracked accurately, such as:
Software is the only way to keep up with the staggering amount of data that must be tracked and maintained — but not just any software will do the trick. For example, using spreadsheets instead of actual tracking tools isn’t a scalable solution.
When it comes to managing your entire organization’s chemical inventory, the tool you choose should work today and also be optimized to meet future needs. No one should have to switch systems soon after a large-scale software evaluation process.
It should also be simple for laboratory users to regularly input and update their own inventory for you.
Learn how BioRAFT is proven to reduce burden, increase productivity, and decrease risk:
It’s an old saying: “If you think safety is expensive, try an accident.”
Personally, we’d prefer not to.
Risk — a hazy mix of probability and severity — can be a concept that’s difficult to firmly grasp. As a result, it rarely receives all the funding it should get. That, in turn, leads to unaddressed risks growing, hiding, and worst of all, manifesting as an active problem.
While these are big concepts, it all comes down to the details. A chemical can be properly ID’d as a peroxide former. However, if the expiration date isn’t logged, it still runs the risk of degrading into an explosive substance before someone properly disposes of it. When these risks go unaddressed, your organization’s people, finances, and reputation are all in jeopardy.
It’s paramount that your chemical inventory software makes it easy to track these details and mitigate the resultant risks. Without actionable, real-time, and easily accessible data, it’s challenging to make informed decisions on where to spend your resources.
You need to know what chemicals your organization has, in what quantities, where they are, who’s using them, when they expire, and all associated hazards. That’s a huge amount of information to track, organize, analyze, maintain, and locate when you need it — not to mention being able to put all this data into the required regulatory report format.
If your chemical inventory management is the foundation for a building, then the chemical database is the soil the foundation is dug into. The database’s quality and composition dictate fundamental limits to how good your chemical inventory can be.
We all know the pain of trying to navigate a piece of software that's unintuitive and poorly laid out.
This type of software is time-intensive, draining, and uninviting to use. It’s a combination that’s particularly harmful, as your users are discouraged from regularly updating their chemical inventory.
When you can accurately track your chemical containers, all your downstream efforts become easier, more accurate, and more trustworthy.
The difficulty here is a logistical one. How do you monitor the flux of all the containers, on the range of hundreds to hundreds of thousands? This is a critical place where your chemical inventory management system should be able to do some heavy lifting.
The most important task for your chemical inventory software is providing the information necessary for regulatory reporting. Reports can easily consume an enormous amount of time and resources, given the specific formats and details needed. Having an incomplete or inaccurate report can have serious ramifications.
When you have to deal with all the minutiae of chemical inventory management —container tracking, regulatory reporting, reconciliation, inspections — it can be easy to get lost in the weeds.
Of course, you don’t do all this work for nothing. There’s a bigger picture here, and losing sight of that can lead to nitpicking, frustration, exhaustion, and dissatisfaction.
Sarina Schwartz-Hinds Manager, Chemical Solutions | BioRAFT
Rachel Jordan Manager, Implementation Services | BioRAFT
We hope you find this guide helpful. If you have any questions about the ins and outs of vetting a chemical inventory software, email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know. And if you're wondering exactly what to look for in a high-quality, sustainable chemical inventory software solution, our team of experts is standing by to help you out.
ChemTracker is packed full of valuable features like robust reporting, auto-converting units, an unparalleled chemical database, and barcode/QR code/RFID support.
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