Inventory management. Use Case and Functional Specification

edited June 2021 in Functionality

In response to a requirement in the pharma industry, Vis Magnetica (Uruguay) and Bika Lab Systems (Cape Town), combined to document Functional Specifications and Use Cases for managing reference samples and consumables in Bika Senaite

Inventory management, though often not given much attention, can be a big cost-saving field for labs, contributing 30-40% of expenditure. Managing consumption and limiting wastage increases lab competitiveness. Costly out-of-stock situations can be prevented. Over-stocking issues can be resolved. Reviewing consumption per instrument highlights device inefficiencies

Re-ordering alerts inform managers of low stock levels, and near-expiry alerts of consumables approaching the end of their shelf lives

Heads-up Bika Senaite developers

Inventory management is a popular requirement, let's not duplicate but combine efforts for a best of breed design. Inventory management can also be achieved by interfacing an ERP but it will also require consumption functionality to be coded in the LIMS, probably in the ERP too

The objective is a seamlessly integrated and simple solution for core laboratory inventory management


For managing reference material in the LIMS, current Bika Reference Sample and Definition architecture will be utilised, expanded with Sample levels, usage logs, low level, high usage and expiry alerts
Consumables will be a new class, very similar to Reference Samples but sans results capturing. Both Reference Samples and Consumables are assigned to Samples and  Analyses on Worksheets, where start and end levels are recorded to calculate consumption

Historic consumption is looked up on separate tabs on Reference Samples and Consumables, where each use is tabled, graphed and unusual records highlighted. A usage report is available, and also for stock levels, near-expiry Samples and to be re-ordered

Existing Bika Senaite Storage functionality will be integrated, to store and retrieve reference samples and consumables from the facilities configured

Submit your Inventory Requirements

The project offers a collaboration opportunity for labs to acquire an Inventory Management module fitting requirements affordably. Part funding has already been obtained, and we are inviting more labs to submit their requirements and co-sponsoring the project to completion.

Specification document

Version 1 here, Inventory management. Use Case and Functional Specification

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