Previously, inventory tracking at Chaves County, New Mexico, was done with spreadsheets which was cumbersome and time-consuming. They decided to make the switch to InventoryEdge and now the inventory ordering process is much faster, they can keep less inventory on hand, and their inventory counts are more accurate. They’ve also seen a county-wide savings of 45% to 65% on their total inventory costs. We caught up with Tammy Brisco West, Purchasing Director, to discuss.
Here is their story:
I manage the bulk purchasing for the county’s central supply program, which is like a store for county employees to order office supplies from. Before we bought InventoryEdge, I was using an Excel spreadsheet and my memory to run everything. Employees had to fill out an Excel request form when they wanted something with line items and quantity needed. It was cumbersome and our process was not very cohesive. If an item was discontinued or we switched to a slightly different version, then I had to remember to update that spreadsheet. If I forgot, then people would order something and I would have to contact them and let them know that we needed to change their order. With our old process, it was a challenge to keep everything updated and filling orders took me four or five days.
Now, filling an order in InventoryEdge only takes me an hour or two because the system automates everything that I used to have to do manually. It’s much more efficient and frees me up to do other things to help my department. It also removes the burden of my having to remember to update spreadsheets, which is awesome.
Before, it was also hard to ensure that we had the correct inventory levels because we didn’t have a good system for tracking that. The auditors had a field day with me. Now that we’ve got InventoryEdge, we’ve tightened down the access to our supply room so that only three people have access. When I implemented the system, I had to count all our levels and enter them in, and that was probably the most time-consuming piece of getting started because I didn’t have those counts. Now, we know exactly how much we have of everything. If I look in the system and see that we have eight of something and then go look in the supply room, I’ll see that yep, we’ve got eight of that.
As an example, we supply toner for all the printers in the county, which is 117 machines. I don’t really have the room to keep a lot on hand and thanks to the system, I don’t have to. Once we use one, I order another immediately from our local supplier. We are able to be so much more efficient.
We’ve saved money with InventoryEdge because now we have a better understanding of our inventory usage and habits. If an employee requests a specific item, we can introduce less expensive options that are basically the same as what they are requesting. I can also negotiate better when we purchase on national contracts because I have data on how much we purchase from them. After a year of using InventoryEdge, we did an analysis of our data and found that we’ve saved on average, anywhere from 30% to 80% on some of our items. That translates to an overall county-wide savings of 45% to 65% on our inventory. I knew we saved a lot but I had no idea it would be that much!
Another big bonus of InventoryEdge is the reporting, I love it! The reporting was one of the hardest parts of my job before, and now a report might take me five minutes. Before, I would have to take all the spreadsheets, total them, put in the totals of every order by department and put that into a summary spreadsheet. It could take me a whole day to do that for the Finance Department so they could charge the various departments for their inventory costs. Now I just download the budget for the last month, separate it by department, total it, and send it. Reporting is so quick for me now!
We also appreciate the fact that this system is web-based, so we don’t have to add it on every computer and train everyone on how to use it. It’s easy enough to use that we didn’t have to even train our users. If they’ve ever shopped online, they can use InventoryEdge.
I love InventoryEdge because it’s so easy to use, it automates so much for me that it frees up my time to do other things, and it tracks everything I need it to so we can save the county money!
Click the link below to download the .pdf.