Sunday, 31 January 2010

Improving stock management

diagram: lending stock life cycle from procurement to withdrawal and replacement

I mentioned a while back that we've bought into smartsm and that we want to do a lot with it. To give you some idea of the scope of our ambition, the only part of the lending stock life cycle that we don't see being directly influenced by smartsm is the actual process of procurement. Once the item's arrived it'll be included in the smartsm processes.

Which isn't to say that we're going to be doing everything at once. Realistically, the first stage is going to be the running of reports for stock that's either sitting idly on the shelves or else perhaps being physically overworked and needing replacement. We should then be able to move on to working up an evidence-based transfer régime that ensures that stock is moving to meet local demand rather than somebody's best guess (or long-standing organisational tradition).

Talking to other smartsm users it seems that it takes the best part of a year to build up enough data and trends analysis to be able to start using it effectively in the stock selection process. This is fine by us: the fact we can use smartsm at all for this purpose is icing on the cake so we don't mind waiting.

Between stock analyses on Dynix, smartsm reports and issue statistical reports on Dynix we should be able to take a more holistic approach to stock selection and location; make individual items of stock work harder by moving it on when it has fulfilled the local market; and demonstrate that we’re getting value for money.

At the moment we are only likely to be using smartsm as a lending stock management tool as we have chosen not to record evidence of use of reference stock. There is no technical reason why evidence-based stock management cannot be applied to reference stock: we could use Dynix's "In-House Use" function to generate the usage data for this stock.

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