The 2-bin inventory replenishment program allows for maintaining accurate par levels of products in well-organized bins, eliminating the traditional par item counting process. Here’s how it works:
Based on historical usage, predetermined quantities of each item are placed in two separate bins on a shelf—one bin is placed in the front and the other behind it. When the front bin is depleted, the nurse puts it in a designated area for the materials management staff to pick up. The back bin is then pulled forward on the shelf to be utilized by the staff. That empty bin is the trigger for replenishment. Our materials management staff restocks the bin and places it back on the shelf behind the first bin—achieving automatic, stock rotation. It’s a very simplistic, low-tech system, but very efficient for clinical staff and materials management.
If our par levels are set correctly, products will never expire, and stockouts are greatly minimized. This system also eliminates the tedious task of par counting. The key to success is establishing accurate par levels before implementation. We worked with Baptist to analyze and establish par levels, and a four-day par was implemented— two days for the front bin and two days for the back bin.
Each product has two assigned bins and each bin has three labels.
- One is a bar code for the materials management team that tells the inventory replenishment system which product and how many go in the bin. This part of the process is a huge time saver compared to the previous system.
- The second is a clinical, staff-friendly item description that is placed on the front of the bin for easy identification by clinical customers.
- The third sticker is a color-coded dot to easily identify the bin by product category, so respiratory products go together, wound care products are together, and so on.