The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges to every aspect of conducting business. Perhaps the most critical determinant of how well schools, retailers, and manufacturers have handled their personal protective equipment needs. Ensuring workers and customers have access to masks, face shields, respirators, gowns, and other PPE is essential. Maintaining adequate supplies on hand and establishing relationships with reliable vendors has become managers’ most critical mission.
How PPE Management Software Can Help
Successful companies either had implemented PPE inventory management software and protocols before the pandemic or scrambled to “build the airplane in midflight.” PPE management software is instrumental in carrying out end-to-end PPE management obligations and minimizing supply risk:
- Keeping a running total of available inventories
- Notifying when it may be time to reorder
- Identifying potential sources of backup and emergency supplies
- Monitoring shipments
- Managing purchase, storage, and distribution costs.
The best systems use machine learning to help managers forecast their PPE needs and maintain the proper inventory levels without undue risk of materials spoiling or becoming obsolete. Because demand fluctuates rapidly, it is essential to identify and build priority status with PPE manufacturers you can call on when the situation becomes desperate. Solutions include strategic sourcing augmentation and dedicated or reserved manufacturing and delivery capacity to augment your strategic reserve.
On-the-Go Monitoring and Ordering
The keys are automating as much of the process as possible and establishing an efficient flow through the supply chain. These tasks, however, are often difficult to accomplish in-house. Limited managerial capacity, institutional knowledge, and strained budgets can stand in the way of building the infrastructure and monitoring its processes. You can overcome these hurdles by working with a partner that delivers inventory and supply chain management as a service. SDI, for instance, offers a mobile platform that helps school procurement officers, store field technicians, and factory maintenance technicians identify PPE needs and initiate orders from anywhere. This is especially helpful in an era of social distancing and remote work. Even after COVID-19 is brought under control, the dynamic nature of PPE requirements, guidance, and supply in addition to permanent changes in the way work gets done will necessitate the flexibility the SDI platform allows. Traditional workflows that set maximum quantities of each item to keep on hand and triggered reorders when certain minimums were reached are no longer suited for today’s environment. The SDI software’s forecasting and usage scenarios are more in line with modern customers’ needs.
ZEUS – King of PPE Inventory Management Software
SDI’s ZEUS platform ties together ordering, parts catalogs, supplier portals, warehouse management tools, and data analytics. As a managed supply chain services provider, SDI combines all that sophisticated technology with a technical support team that streamlines requisition processing, non-stock ordering, supplier management, process and vendor benchmarking and compliance, and master data management. Ensuring these components interact and share data with each other empowers your organization to not only know how much of each PPE device you have and where and when you can get more but also analyze its use and analyze historical transactions to predict optimal ordering times and quantities. A proprietary algorithm and statistical modeling system consider 35 different factors to apply the optimal model to your situation. ZEUS’s PPE inventory management software’s decision engine incorporates parameters such as season spikes, criticality, and low-volume equipment to customize your PPE inventory management by SKU to create the optimal balance that eliminates disastrous stockouts while keeping carrying costs manageable.
Forecasting and Fulfillment
Precise forecast modeling ensures smooth application of your supply chain functions. Reliably predicting the effects of policy changes, threat trends, virus variants, and other environmental shifts, allows your company to plan its PPE purchases and constantly re-evaluate the criteria you use to decide the timing, amount, and supplier involved in each order. If your case is typical, trusting the experts at SDI to properly analyze your needs and usage patterns through ZEUS can reduce your inventory and associated costs by 20 to 40 percent with no increased supply risk, while elevating service levels to 98 percent or higher.
All this is available with no appreciable investment in infrastructure, upgrades, or training. ZEUS scales with you as you grow, delivering flexible solutions that are adaptable as you develop additional best practices, increase your workforce, integrate into new product lines and service areas.
ZEUS’s single-payor convenience takes the complexity out of contract compliance, improves the quality of products procured and serviced delivered, and puts you back in control of your PPE inventory supply chain. Developed exclusively for PPE and MRO supply management, the mobile platform’s foundation is a comprehensive omnichannel fulfillment platform. Accessible from any mobile device either through the ZEUS Ordering mobile app (or the PPE-as-a-Service app for PPE-only clients), desktop, or terminal, the interface’s intuitive dashboard displays real-time statistics. You can immediately visualize what equipment you need to order to ensure continuous operation. You can peer into your on-site warehouse, see stockpiles located at nearby facilities, and order SKUs that are not readily at hand.
Contact SDI for more information on how SDI’s plug-n-play PPE inventory management platform can give you the security and your workers the protection you need.