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Study Notes: Requirements of Customers and Suppliers

For an inventory system to operate effectively the requirements of customers and suppliers must be taken into account. Customers are anyone who relies on the inventory system and include internal customers (laboratory and other SimuLab staff) and external customers (doctors, patients and other customers, for example).

Customers require the following from the SimuLab inventory system:

Internal Customers
External Customers
An inventory that never runs out. Accurate and precise results.
A system that takes account of shelf life. Timely results within specified TATs.
A user friendly and automated system. An economical service.
A system that saves time and money. Ability to have priority testing done faster.
A system that reduces wastage. Belief in the reputation and reliability of SimuLab.
A system that minimises storage of hazardous chemicals. Never having results delayed because of inventory shortages.
A system that alerts future stock shortages. Ability to specify methods and reagents for specific testing.

Suppliers are anyone who supplies inventory to the laboratory and again there may be internal suppliers (laboratory technicians who make up reagents for other laboratory users are an example) and external suppliers (commercial chemical, equipment and consumable suppliers).

Suppliers also have a number of requirements that need to be fulfilled by the SimuLab inventory system:

Internal Suppliers
External Suppliers
Clear and concise SOPs. Orders filled out in an appropriate manner with all details including catalogue numbers.
Access to reagents of suitable grade and quality. Timely filing of orders and reduction of ‘urgent’ or ‘rush’ orders to a minimum.
Required reagents never run out. Standing orders wherever possible.
Accurate details of requirements (eg 5 L of 0.90M NaCl every Monday morning). Recipient to check all receipts and advise of discrepancies ASAP.
A system that reduces wastage. Payment of delivery fees.
Access to appropriate containers, labels and processing equipment. One person to be responsible for all enquiries regarding orders.
Proper training for the preparation of reagents. All regulatory paperwork, permits etc. to accompany orders (eg drugs of addiction, radioactive substances).
A system that is flexible enough to account for variations in requirements. SimuLab to pay its account promptly according to the terms of supply.

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