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Extending Chemical Inventory Management to a Multi-Site System Delivers Operational Efficiencies

Challenge

Chemical reports required by the Environmental, Health, and Safety (EH&S) department can be an exhausting process, and for this leading pharmaceutical company’s key R&D laboratory, the task was placing significant constraints on labor, costs, and data precision. The manual processes in place were cumbersome, inconsistent, and hard to manage, and worst of all, the collected data was also rarely accurate, as quarterly physical inventory counts repeatedly unearthed inconsistencies between the inventory reports and actual inventory on hand.

Furthermore, the demands of the chemical inventory management activities negatively affected the scientists’ productivity by taking them away from the lab bench. What could the company do to satisfy both their corporate bottom line and EH&S requirements?

Solution

After analyzing the overburdened R&D lab’s workflows and processes, VWRCATALYST developed a solution involving ChewSW’s CISPro® chemical inventory system already being used at two other company sites. We proposed that the facility leverage the existing global contract with VWR for chemical procurement, as well as VWR site licenses, to extend the chemical inventory system to the R&D laboratory.

VWRCATALYST managed the new chemical tracking program and included the hardware and software, the implementation team, and ongoing maintenance, since implementation included not just optimizing CISPro for the site, but a thorough housecleaning and inventory of all chemicals on site as well. As a result, the organization was able to enact a cost-effective solution that not only streamlined processes but also significantly improved the accuracy of the chemical inventory and safety data.

“We didn’t know that the lab had so much trouble providing chemical inventory data, but we were frustrated that their reports never matched what we found when we performed our quarterly physical inventory counts. When we found out that the lab was looking at commercial solutions, we suggested contacting VWR about extending an existing site license we’d heard a lot of good things about. I couldn’t be more pleased with the result. Right now the company is discussing extending the system to even more sites.”

—The Site’s EH&S Manager

Result

The chemical tracking program delivered greater assurance that the chemical containers on site are managed safely and more efficiently, while relieving the laboratory scientists of workflow challenges. This achieved numerous additional benefits:

  • Inconsistent data has been eliminated; all chemical inventory data is now accurate and real-time
  • Standardized color-coded labels ensure greater chemical storage safety site-wide
  • Ability to track chemical location and quantity, as well as generate real-time reports listing chemical containers by location, vendor, name, CAS number, formula, and more
  • Saving costs and time by elimination of quarterly manual inventory processes
  • Disposal costs for expired chemicals have been significantly reduced
  • Regulatory requirements are addressed better and reporting is significantly improved

After VWRCATALYST performed a thorough inventory of over 6,000 chemical containers on site, eliminating expired materials and ensuring that all incoming chemicals are entered into CISPro, the system’s real-time tracking enabled the site to perform at the same level with only 4,000 containers, thus reducing inventory by 30%.


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Success Story

Challenge

The disconnect between the accuracy of the chemical reports EH&S required and the ability of the R&D laboratory to track chemical containers was negatively affecting the scientists’ productivity and the accuracy of inventory reports.

Solution

VWRCATALYST and ChemSW optimized chemical management processes, streamlined scientists’ workload, and significantly improved the accuracy of chemical inventory and safety data.

Result

The company has been able to significantly reduce disposal costs for expired chemicals, save money and time by eliminating quarterly manual inventory processes, and reduce the number of chemical containers on site by more than 30% since the program was implemented.

Need Help?

Are your scientific resources being wasted on non-research activities? VWRCATALYST has the skills, knowledge, and experience to support productivity improvement at your organization. For more information, visit vwr.com/vwrcatalyst or contact us at vwrcatalyst.eu@vwr.com.