#014 Strategic Capital Planning – Inventory is the Foundation

Best wishes to all – here’s hoping your bracket is going well! The way this tournament is going, it has probably crashed like everyone else.

We’ve shared a lot of strategic thoughts, but let’s get tactical, where the rubber hits the road. We’re going to give some love to the asset inventory. Yep, everyone’s favorite job.

The first thing we need to do is change the perspective of the inventory. If you are performing an asset inventory because you are making sure the stuff you say you have is there, you are missing half the value of the exercise. Here’s the list – yep, it’s all here. Check that box.

The inventory should accomplish that function, plus find and document items not previously listed, correct or include demographic data (manufacturer, model, serial number, date of manufacture, asset number, etc.) and verify assets that can’t be found. Adds, Changes, and Deletes. This is the blocking and tackling that improves the accuracy of the asset list.

As you are confirming the existence and demographic data of each asset, the other function that provides significant value to the inventory process is a conditional assessment. Why spend all of the time and effort it takes to inventory an asset if you don’t assess and document it’s condition at the same time? This assessment can be corroborated by staff users and Biomed as needed. It does require that the person assessing the asset has knowledge of medical equipment, especially from a historic context, but the information is too valuable not to capture it while standing in front of the asset.

With an accurate inventory and assessment, you now have the foundational data for your future capital planning strategies. You are able to develop estimated remaining useful life, prioritize replacements rationally, and develop the strategies that we have discussed in previous posts. And we’re not even going down the path of equipment planning without an accurate inventory. Let metrics derived from the inventory determine reuse. Planned reuse of existing assets will not accurately identify surplus assets without an inventory. And the transition plan requires an accurate inventory.

Think of the inventory as the data gathering event that makes all of the strategies possible. While that perspective doesn’t make the job easier, it does recognize the value of the exercise, making it a more worthwhile endeavor. It is the preparation that makes your planning relevant.

It is like so many other undertakings. To prepare you must assess the current environment. Identify strengths and weaknesses. Identify opportunities. Develop a plan to exploit those opportunities. Execute the plan and measure the results. The inventory is the intel gathering that contributes to successful operations. No accurate inventory, no meaningful analytics or capital planning.

Not quite sure what the next topic will be. Apologies for taking so long to get this one out – just have been super busy. Until then, be well and as always, feel free to comment at info@medicalequipmentconsultants.com.