In 2022, Pauline Nash with her team at core NSP, Pozitive Pathways Community Services in Windsor adopted the bin system (see the January 2023 blog about bin systems). At the recent OHRDP “Let’s Talk Shop” meeting, Pauline shared details about how the bin system is working.
” For some of the sites that order larger quantities of, say, bowl pipe kits – we know on average the site gives out maybe 300 a month. The idea was to have bins that would have that quantity, so two bins that would have 150 kits each. Once one bin goes empty, it’s a trigger for those sites to reorder. Because a lot of sites have other objectives, (their business is something else), it’s difficult for them to manage inventory. We thought it was a wonderful idea and it is working well at some sites – although, there are definitely one or two sites that still struggle a little bit. It’s more of a visual way for sites to help manage their inventory, rather than having to keep track of numbers.”
This image demonstrates how the bin system works at the community agencies that Pozitive Pathways Community Services supports –
We wanted to get a bit more information and followed up with Pauline with some questions:
What challenges were you trying to solve with the bin system AND how well has it worked?
“We were dealing with inconsistent inventory management both at our core site and community agency sites. We needed to ensure the quantities ordered reflected the distribution data reported by the community agencies. The system has been successful because it prevents community agencies from suddenly running out of supplies, and it takes the guess work out of their ordering.”
How did you decide the size of bins for each community agency?
“The size of bin a site receives is determined using each sites average monthly distribution data obtained from Neo360. Sizes are re-assessed every 6 months.”
Do you have any tips on adopting the bin system?
- “Focus the bin system for sites that distribute large quantities of kits.
- Use a coding system such as coloured labels on bins. For example, green label on bins with bowl pipe kits, blue label on bins with straight stem kits, etc. This allows staff to distinguish which kits are packed into different bins thus making the organizing and delivery processes easier.”
There are so many unique inventory management systems that core NSPs are using. Sharing what is working in your region may help another program that has been tackling a particular issue. Do you have a system or process that has been working well in your region? Would you be willing to share it in a blog post? Let us know at [email protected].
Blog written by Pauline Nash, and Lucas Rychlo.