As a scientist, discovering that you’ve used your last pipette is more than just a hiccup. It’s an unplanned, and potentially extensive, delay to research, especially now as labs navigate growing supply shortages. Today, most shortages are due to the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the life science supply chain. Teams are struggling to keep commonly used lab items stocked, some equipment taking several months to deliver, due to increased demand for basic supplies like gloves, plastic tips for pipettes, and kits used for Covid-19 research and testing. Plus, border closures, quarantines and reduced shipping via air and sea have also slowed delivery.
As a result, when researchers place orders for supplies, there’s a higher-than-ever chance that the items will be on backorder, meaning the amount of purchase orders outnumbers the volume of available product. The outcome? Not only delivery delays that hinder scientific research, but also higher prices that hurt labs’ budgets.
Backorders are a scientist’s worst nightmare, but running out of supplies is largely preventable with the right technology. An integrated supply management platform like Quartzy enables lab managers and scientists to reorder supplies seamlessly and proactively by providing full, centralized visibility into the lab’s inventory. By leveraging Quartzy, scientists can keep inventory stocked and avoid backorders altogether.
Greater Visibility Means Preventing Research Delays
Quartzy’s inventory module provides researchers and lab managers with a comprehensive, running list of the items stocked in the lab, whether they were purchased through the Quartzy Shop (Quartzy’s ecommerce platform) or elsewhere. As researchers use supplies, they can edit the product quantity listed in the platform. Thanks to this setup, everyone on the team can recognize when supplies are getting low before they’re completely depleted.
The inventory module is also customizable. For example, labs can opt to view items’ expiration dates and set reminders to notify the item’s primary user when the dates are approaching, which can help get ahead of purchasing.
Acting Early on Equipment Requests
In many lab setups, lab managers need to collect supply requests from each individual researcher, creating a backlog of emails and spreadsheets. But with Quartzy, making equipment requests can be done directly within the request module, a centralized list of supplies that team members throughout the lab need. Any person in the lab can access the module and submit a request. From inventory tracking to ordering items, the entire supply management process is faster, more transparent and organized.
Because Quartzy gives each team member full visibility into their entire stock of equipment, autonomy to update the system, and flexibility to make requests when needed, life science organizations can act early and prioritize purchases with enough lead time. Though backorders may be here to stay, with the right preparation, labs can avoid delays and keep research moving forward.
Sidebar: When Is an “Equivalent” Right For You?
Sometimes a backorder is inevitable. Consider purchasing an equivalent item instead of waiting for your product to be back in stock. When you search for an item in the Quartzy Shop, Quartzy offers alternative product recommendations, backed by a scientific evaluation from our team of life science product specialists.
You can always chat with a scientist from Quartzy to understand why the team made a recommendation, or ask other questions you may have about the equivalent. Our alternative recommendations come with a guarantee, and if you don’t like it, we’ll take it back.
For more information about stay ahead of backorders using Quartzy, click here.