David Gulland, Operations Insights & Innovation Manager, HPS Corporate Office
February 2018 – February 2019
HPS Corporate business need:
HPS was in the process of moving from Inventory management being conducted at an individual site level to a Central Inventory Management System (CIMS) based at the corporate offices. Management wanted to identify current best practices, opportunities for improvement/streamlining of the new central service and also to be able to predict staff requirements for the CIMS team as new sites came onboard.
The Next Level Business Solution:
The project involved 6 phases:
Phase 1 – A Time and Motion survey of Inventory Controllers at selected HPS hospital pharmacy sites to identify current “best practice” and areas for improvement.
Phase 2 – Analysis of ordering data and stock holdings to identify unproductive practices with regards to stock holdings and identify cost savings possible.
Phase 3 – Real-time data collection by the “most productive” IC was conducted to produce baseline graphs in order to compare the productivity of the newly instigated Central Inventory Management System (CIMS) team.
Phase 4 – Interviews and real-time data collection were conducted by the CIMS team members and their practices and productivity were compared to that of the old IC model.
Phase 5 – Real time data was collected for checking and unpacking orders at the sites to compare CIMS-serviced sites and old model sites to identify any negative effects downstream of the CIMS implementation.
Phase 6 – A further Time and Motion survey of the CIMS team was conducted in order to quantify not just the ordering tasks, but all the other tasks associated with their role. This would enable a modeller to be developed that could predict staffing requirements as new sites came onboard, as well as being able to model the effects on staffing requirements if changes were to be made to the frequency and size of orders being placed.
The Results So Far:
The initial survey highlighted that there was no documented “Best Practice” for the Inventory Controllers and there was a wide variety of methods used across sites. The CIMS team were guided to identify best practice and to draft their own Instruction Manual and Standard Operating Procedures.
The possibility of significant financial savings was identified by improving the Inventory holdings at each site with the introduction of the min:max ordering system used by the CIMS team.
Initial productivity comparisons between site-based and CIMS-based inventory control highlighted the additional time imposition of the “Ticketing” system that was used to record all the CIMS activities and notify sites of their order status. This enabled the team to refine their practices and modify their SOPs to reduce this negative impact.
The Next Level developed a modeller with the dual purpose of being able to predict CIMS staffing requirements as new sites came onboard, as well as being able to model the improved productivity that could potentially be achieved by placing larger orders less frequently for sites that have sufficient storage capacity.
As HPS continues to manage change across the enterprise management looks forward to partnering again with The Next Level on future projects.