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How Your Physical Inventory Can Set You Up for Tremendous Savings

Nurse taking a physical inventory count. Stock photo.

We have a customer in the Northeast who has about a dozen hospitals. They have used Z5 Count to conduct a number of physical inventories and are very pleased with their results as well as the improvements to the overall inventory process for their staff. Like many hospitals, inventory was a means to an end. Meaning they took a count and posted a number in their financials. Once this was done, they declared victory and moved on to other projects and challenges. Does this sound familiar to you?

We analyzed their inventory results and identified hundreds of thousands of dollars in items that were slow-moving, excess, and unused. Items that, if left on their shelves, would expire and ultimately be thrown out. Like many hospitals, they knew they had this specific problem, but they didn’t know how to identify what it was and where it was located. They also left it up to their staff to “work together” when they needed something or had something to give. Unfortunately, emailing your counterpart at another hospital is really not a best practice.

After sharing the analysis with our customer, we were contracted for our Z5 Reallocate solution to ensure that the slow-moving, excess, and unused inventory did not go to waste. We had a team on-site for 10 days working at each hospital to remove the slow-moving and excess items from one hospital and ship them to another hospital within the system that was currently purchasing the same product. Their results were fantastic, the savings were real and were substantial. Communication is the key, and below are lessons learned from this project and others we have completed:

  • Sharing the “what” is good. Sharing the “why” is better. Once staff understood why the project was taking place, they were all for it.
  • Expose the data and analysis. Many of the staff had a strong emotional tie to their inventory. Once they saw the hard data and understood the analytics, they felt better about saying goodbye to it.
  • Work together. There are certain items that have to be on the shelf at all times. Know usage patterns, what is needed, and what is excess. Communicate this to all parties to set the proper expectations and work together to achieve success.


Headline photo via Depositphotos.

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