Archive December 2018 XIX, No. 12

Ideas That Work: Perpetual Inventory

Bin Rotation System Keeps Supplies Constantly Replenished

Bin Rotation

We keep often-needed supplies just outside the ORs in the sterile corridor. When crucial items were constantly out of stock, we came up with this simple 2-bin system to better manage par levels. Here’s how it works:

  • Place 2 bins, one in front of the other, full of the same supply on a shelf.
  • When the last item in the forward bin is picked, remove the empty bin and place it in a designated area on top of the shelving unit.
  • Pull the second bin, which is full of supplies, forward to the front of the shelf.
  • Periodically check the top of the shelves for empty bins, so you know which supplies need to be restocked.
  • After refilling an empty bin, place it back on its assigned shelf, behind the full bin, where it’s ready to be pulled forward again when the bin in front is emptied.

This bin rotation system keeps supplies constantly replenished and also lets you recognize the items you use constantly and which items you might not need to keep stocked in the sterile corridor.

Heather Kirkman, BSN, RN
Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy
Charlotte, N.C.

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