Archive October 2017 XVIII, No. 10

Ideas That Work: Two-Bin System for Supplies

two-bin system DOUBLE THE BINS, HALF THE WORK With a two-bin system for storing supplies, when you receive an empty bin, you send its twin as a replacement and refill the other.

Two-Bin System for Supplies

The trick of purchasing is creating a seamless supply of stock. When I got into purchasing 2 years ago after years as a surgical assistant, I wanted to create a system that would provide uninterrupted inventory, one that was more efficient and stress-free. Right away, I introduced a two-bin system for storing our supplies. When I restock, one bin takes half the bounty and goes off to its specific cart or station while the other stays in a storage unit. Once the first is empty and makes its way back, I send the other one out, full and ready to go, and then I place an order to replenish the empty bin. It's like managing a rotating bullpen. Meanwhile, the staff have what they need, and I can see what's being used and when without hunting down every container throughout the surgical center. Plus, by recognizing patterns, I can arrange patient-specific inventory packs based on what supplies are often used together.

Paula Starner, LPN
Wooster (Ohio) Ambulatory Surgery Center

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