You’re probably aware that the cost of running a medical practice continues to increase — and so does the demand on your time. The administrative burden alone can be staggering for any new business owner. But you wouldn’t have opened a hospital supply store if you weren’t an organized person with a knack for streamlining processes and increasing efficiency. Whether you own a small hospital supply store or a large wholesale operation, finding smart ways to streamline processes and reduce expenses is essential to your success. To help you get started on the right foot, we’ve compiled our top ideas for saving time and money at your hospital supply store.
Create a digital catalog
A digital catalog can help speed up the ordering process and reduce errors. Plus, it can give customers instant access to product information from their computer or smartphone. Depending on the system you choose, you could also be able to track inventory, manage sales, and create reports. A digital catalog at your hospital supply store is worth the investment, especially if you’re in an industry with frequent inventory changes, complex pricing structures, or complex medical supply cataloging. TIP: If you own a larger operation, you may be able to integrate your digital catalog with your other hospital management software for a more seamless experience.
Ditch the paper-based process
Paperwork might seem like a necessary evil, but it’s easy to go overboard with paperwork in your hospital supply store. Excess paper can create unnecessary work and clutter from receipts to purchase orders. Before you know it, you have stacks of paper everywhere. If this rings true for you, it might be time to try a digital solution instead. You can reduce paper, improve accuracy, and save time with digital forms and systems. For example, by switching to digital receipts and purchase orders, you’ll save hours of time each week and reduce the risk of errors. TIP: If you’re using a paper-based system for certain tasks, like inventory management, try to digitize it as soon as possible.
Utilize automation wherever you can
Automation is a major component of streamlining processes in your hospital supply store. For example, if you’re stocking medical supplies in a warehouse, you should use hoppers and conveyor belts to reduce lifting and increase efficiency. You should also consider investing in automated picking systems. Even in a small operation, picking and packing products can take significant time. Automated systems, like robots that can pick and pack products, can speed up the process, reduce errors, and save you lots of money in labor costs over time. TIP: When choosing automation for your warehouse, pick systems and components that can be easily integrated.
Automate inventory management
Even if you’ve digitized your paper-based inventory management system, the process is still time-consuming and prone to error. With an automated system, you can scan, add, and track inventory items with a button click. Plus, most inventory management systems can be integrated with your digital catalog and point-of-sale system to ensure you don’t run out of products. An automated system will help you keep track of inventory levels, but it can also help prevent costly mistakes, such as mis-stocking items or putting them in the wrong place in your store. TIP: If your inventory management software offers mapping and GIS features, use them to track product locations in your store. This can help prevent misplacement, overstocking, and understocking.
Utilize smart storage solutions
Storage solutions don’t have to be expensive or cumbersome. For example, if you’re storing pharmaceuticals and hospital supplies in Melbourne, consider investing in static-proof bags. If you’re storing inventory in racks, try to organize products by type and product category. If you’re storing products on shelves, use a labeling system that makes items easy to find. If you’re storing medical equipment and supplies, you may want to invest in wall-mounted storage systems. This way, you can make the most of your space and ensure that products are easy to access whenever needed. TIP: Before investing in new storage solutions, ensure they’re easy to clean and can withstand heavy use.
Have a dedicated storage area for supplies and equipment
To be as efficient as possible, it’s easy to let supplies and equipment take over your space. To prevent this, designate an area in your store for storing supplies and equipment. This way, you can easily keep track of everything and make sure that products are easy to locate when needed. If you have extra space, consider storing items on shelves, hooks, or wall-mounted systems. If you don’t have extra space, it might be time to invest in storage containers and bins. TIP: If you own a larger operation, consider investing in a fully-automated central supply store. This way, employees can easily pick up the items they need when they need them.
Utilize tech to improve efficiency
Technology can help you boost efficiency in many ways, including inventory management, point-of-sale systems, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and more. Plus, many of these solutions are cloud-based services, meaning you can access them anywhere with an internet connection. Before choosing new technology for your hospital supply store, ensure it integrates with your existing systems. TIP: Before investing in new technology, test its compatibility with your other systems and make sure it’s easy to use.
As you can see, there are many ways in which you can save time and money in your hospital supply store. Investing in automation, digitizing systems, and making smart storage decisions can reduce clutter, simplify processes, and save weekly hours. Plus, with a little extra cash in your pockets, you can reinvest in your business and make improvements where it’s needed most.