Setting up a Kanban system is actually very easy. Most of the work is collecting the usage data to decide the right levels of inventory you need for each medical product. The other part of setting up the Kanban system is deciding what kind of “trigger” to use to alert material managers that supplies need to be replenished.
Small Applications: Barcode System and Empty Bins
One option is to use a barcode system in combination with placing the empty bins on the top of your storage shelving (find the supplies you need to get started from StoreMoreStore). The materials manager can come in and use a barcode reader to scan each of the empty bins and record the data for which supplies need to be re-stocked.
This system works well in smaller healthcare facilities or if you are only going to implement Kanban in one or two supply rooms. But if you want to implement it in a large facility or multiple supply rooms, it’s not the best option because material managers are still spending too much time counting. In addition, all the empty bins from fast moving supplies can become cumbersome and create errors in replenishment.
Larger Applications: Use RFID Technology to Automate the “Trigger” Process
The second option is to automate the “trigger” process with RFID technology. This Kanban system is equipped with an RFID digital restocking tag.
Once the items in the primary bin are used, a nurse clicks the button on the restocking tag. While the nurses are waiting for supplies to be restocked, nurses pull items from the secondary bin. A notification is automatically sent to the materials managers with all the information relating to the products that need to be restocked (i.e. quantity and location).
Essentially, the RFID technology replaces steps in the counting process, saving valuable time while real-time information improves accuracy.
Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?
Now that you know why you should use Kanban and the different ways to set up the system in your healthcare facility, are you ready to take the next step? If so, give us a call at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message. We can provide you with both the RFID digital restocking tags and the storage systems you’ll need.
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