Each quarter, IOS asks their 4,500 plus healthcare facilities to share best practice supply chain experiences so that we, as a community, can improve and learn from each other.

For 2nd quarter, 2017 we’d like to congratulate Healthcare Express as they successfully automated true inventory management at 14 Urgent Care facilities spanning four states! Congratulations to Ashlee and the team at Healthcare Express!


Centralized Inventory Management Covering Four States and 14 Urgent Care Facilities

Ashlee Stafford
Director of Laboratory Operations/Materials Management


With 14 locations, we needed an enterprise solution to manage all locations in a single system but more importantly an enterprise item list for procurement and inventory management. We then knew what products should be at each location and what was actually on the shelf. This helps us manage our costs as we now have visibility to actual usage by site and can easily manage cash flow by transferring products between locations (if needed). Now that we have an accurate and up to date inventory we are able to reap the benefits of AutoPO (system generated orders) which saves us an immense amount of time managing the creation of purchase orders to our many vendors and makes sure we are paying the same price for the same product across our network.

One of the biggest efficiencies we gained was in the invoice processing area. Envi took us from getting multiple paper invoices every day to being able to manage them electronically in a system. We are able to sort and review them by date, by facilities, by vendor. Super helpful and we found we are no longer losing invoices and no longer have to scan everything in. We just review and then transfer to QuickBooks for payment. Everything is coded to match the QuickBooks chart of accounts on the back-end so we don’t have to manually add that information anymore.

We use the scanners for usage tracking to decrement the on-hand quantity as well as for physical counts. We have multiple users at each facility accessing the inventory locations and removing products from the shelves. In the beginning, there were concerns that using a scanner would be time-consuming and painful for staff, but over time they have become comfortable with the scanners and much more compliant. Our counts are rarely off. Even the nay sayers saw how easy it was allowing us to keep 100% compliance!

Recipe for Success

We were prepared for a challenging time in getting our sites to comply with system usage. But this was much easier than we anticipated as we followed a few simple steps:
  • Clear communication from the top of the benefits to the company, and each site, for implementing an inventory system
  • Identifying the right people at each site to use and manage the system
  • Clearly defining a process flow that all sites were to follow
  • We trained and retrained key people at each site
  • To maintain accountability, we informed each site that management was using the reports from the system with visibility into how each site was managing the use of system
  • Continued communication from the top on the value of the system and process