When you purchase eggs — what is the first thing you do when you pick up the carton? Open it to inspect the product before you purchase, right? Why would you not want the same option for your sizable investment in storage, which you will live with for decades?
Storage products are a 15- to 20-year capital investment, unlike other capital purchases, which are 3- to 5-year budget items based on technological advancements. Responsible vendors recognize the obligation to clearly comprehend the need, issues and the desired outcome of the provider, then present options and solutions in a manner that is clear, visual and thorough, so that all parties on the provider side can be united in their purchasing decisions prior to any purchase.
So often, providers are so busy in their daily work delivering care and service to patients that they are at the mercy of the vendor to provide adequate solutions. If the vendor does not ‘simplify the process’ for the clinical staff — by providing clear, comprehensive, and visual solution options — a purchase gets made on the first un-vetted suggestion. Hold vendors accountable for the ‘value of service’ they provide. Here are a few suggestions that will help in that process:
- Require vendors to provide visual images of all aspects of items being quoted so there may be visual agreement on the clinical side prior to any purchase.
- Simplify the quoting process to reduce line items necessary on a P.O. — Single line item product numbers for fully assembled storage units with images reduce input errors, shipping errors and re-touches.
- Purchase storage products that ‘perfectly fit the diverse healthcare inventory’ rather than simply filling rooms with flat shelves. Over 70 percent of healthcare inventory items do not fit well on flat shelves.
- When planning a new storage area, require ‘3D visual walk-through inspection’ of the new storage area before any purchase. This is now available to insure unified decisions by all on the front end.
- Require visual images for all equipment list items prior to purchase. This quickly identifies and corrects mis-specified items, items out of compliance and other planning issues.
- For new build and renovation projects, require more than one layout option for each room or area — at NO Charge to provider.
- Insure ALL viable reusable storage equipment is re-used in any new build or renovation layout — and that those repurposed items are ‘clearly illustrated and identified’ in the new layout.
- For any new build or renovation projects, require the vendor to provide a clear — concise — thorough pre-ship/pre-installation check list outlining every detail of delivery through clean up processes.
The bottom line for efficient and effective storage is to fit the storage options to the inventory on the front end. Filling rooms with flat shelves ‘creates the problem.’ Fit your inventory rather than making your inventory fit unsuited storage shelving. There are multiple new storage options available today that achieve this objective.
With new 3D visual layout inspection, you can visually walk through and visually inspect each aspect of each storage unit in your new layout prior to purchasing.