Consolidating and Protecting Your Inventory
During the height of the pandemic and over the course of the past few years, many laboratories faced product stock outs and backorders due to the lack of readily available inventory and supply chain instability. In a scramble to continue research and discovery, many labs overpurchased and stocked up from any and all vendors who had products in stock. Fast forward a few years, and supply chains have stabilized, but stockpiles and inventory issues remain. Labs are left with overcrowded stock rooms filled with inconsistent, inadequate and expired products.
Why Consolidate Inventory?
Small discrepancies among products are a result of ordering from different vendors and are affecting scientists’ day to day tasks. Using products with slight variations can cause imbalances and skewed lab results. Inadequate products purchased in a pinch can also skew results and may end up creating haphazard stockrooms once the adequate product is received. When multiple products are purchased from various vendors, they become harder to keep track of adding to the clutter and disorganization of stockrooms, eventually filled with expired and lost products.
Consolidating to a single vendor mitigates the risk of discrepancies among products. You know how the product will function every time. Using one supplier can also promote organization within your stockrooms as products can be grouped together rather than grouped together by category then supplier at best. When purchasing through one vendor, it is likely you will have easy access to portals and dashboards to keep better track of what is coming in. Later in this blog, purchasing and procurement options with Marathon will be described to best consolidate and protect your consumables.
Drive Cost Savings
In addition to orderly stockrooms, there are also several financial benefits associated with consolidation. When you purchase higher volumes with a single supplier, the cost per unit often decreases. Placing larger orders at a time and purchasing in bulk can reduce shipping costs, too. Money is saved when you know what you have on hand. Accounting for what is in your stockroom is easier to track when working with a single vendor. Gone are the days of throwing out money when you throw out expired products.
Inventory consolidation leads to fewer financial headaches. When working with a single vendor the number of SKUs reduce. SKU reduction results in less purchase orders, item receipts, bills, and payments to be handled by operations and finance teams. Cashflow forecasting is simplified as you will know exactly when each shipment is to be received, invoiced, and paid.
What to Consider in a Supplier when Consolidating Inventory
Choose a Reliable Partner
The most important part of consolidating your inventory to one vendor, is choosing the right partner. Choose a vendor who you feel confident can support your lab. Marathon has a proven track record of reliability, stability and agility. We have proven we can source products when others cannot, especially through the height of the pandemic. We are extremely proud of this and strive to remain in the forefront of customer’s minds when they think of their go-to supplier post pandemic. Our current reliability and relentless efforts to transition all of our manufacturing to the US will allow us to keep this position.
Because Marathon is a small business, we are very responsive and transparent, and pride ourselves on relentless communications. At Marathon, you will be assigned a sales representative. You will not be waiting for a response from an unmonitored mailbox. Being a small business also allows us to be agile and flexible when it comes to adjusting to customer’s unique needs.
Various Ways to Purchase
When selecting a supplier that works best for you, opt for a partner who makes ordering easy, or who even orders on your behalf to remove any stress related to purchasing. Marathon’s mission is to enable the race for innovation. We have remained loyal to our mission and set several programs in place to provide our customers customizable solutions to help facilitate their innovation. Marathon offers standing orders, bulk purchasing, multiple purchasing platforms, and offsite storage solutions.
Marathon’s standing order program allows customers to receive their shipments on a regular cadence. Standing orders not only allow peace of mind for lab managers as they will know exactly when and what they will receive, but also mitigate any risk of outside factors affecting supply chain, subsequently disrupting your day-to-day operations. Several of Marathon’s portfolio offerings can be purchased in bulk at discounted rates. These items can be found on our website, Fisher Scientific, and Amazon. Marathon’s portfolio is also available on Prendio, if you and interested in a one-stop shop for purchasing.
Consider a supplier who has versatile products with different features. Marathon offers products that are different but can be used interchangeability in a laboratory setting. This helps reduce the number of SKUs in your stockroom. For example, Marathon’s PCR strips with flat cap have the same qualities as that with a dome cap. You can purchase just one of these products that will be able to serve two unique purposes.
Outsourcing Procurement Solutions
As companies grow and expand, outsourcing has become more popular. Life science companies are in the business of innovation and discovery, not operations. For this reason, Marathon has created a solution to best support lab operations through Marathon Pacer, our vendor managed inventory program. Pacer is a strategic vendor managed inventory (VMI) program developed to provide our customers predictable supply in an unpredictable world. We take the burden off of lab mangers and users by absorbing the day to day ordering, stocking and other procurement tasks.
The first step of Pacer is a full lab reset. In this initial phase of the program, the Pacer team accounts for expired and unnecessary items, tallies products on hand, identifies under-and overstock, reconciles outstanding orders and backorders, re-organizes stockroom and points of use, and maps easier consumable distribution within the lab. Starting with Pacer puts your lab on the right track towards vendor consolidation and seamless operations. Customers will also have complete visibility to available stock, ordering cadence and cashflow on our VMI dashboard.
Off-site Storage Options
Customers who work with Pacer also have the option to take advantage of Marathon’s off-site Storage. Off-site storage allows you to purchase your inventory upfront and store it at our local warehouse. Using pre-established par levels and just in time (JIT) methodologies, Marathon ensures your products are delivered to your lab at the right time. Off-site storage allows your stockrooms and points of use to be organized and lean, while providing peace of mind that your next delivery is on its way. Off-site does not mean out-of-sight.
As detailed in this blog, choosing the right vendor to partner with is the most crucial part of consolidation. Marathon offers several solutions to help consolidate and protect your inventory. Inventory consolidation helps protect the integrity of what you have on hand, reduces stress for several departments across life science companies and improves lab efficiencies. For more information on inventory consolidation and to begin your consolidation process, visit us at MarathonLS.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.