Last year, I reported on the website Quartzy, which can be used for inventory management. The site is nominally marketed towards use in the life sciences, but we have found it to be very useful in our physics department. Since last September, there have been a number of updates to the website, which might be useful to ProfHacker readers.
First, a major wish-list item of mine has been added to the site: you can now directly link protocols to inventory items. The key here is to think of protocols more broadly than just experiment protocols. In our department, we are using protocols to post introductory lab directions, and now we can associate a given protocol with the inventory records of the equipment used in the lab. This is a key functionality as we have students assist us with set up of labs; the students will be able to easily access information on types and quantities of equipment needed for each week’s labs.
Have you tried out Quartzy’s ordering capabilities yet? You can use the system to log orders, aggregate them, and track as they go through the process of being placed, delivered, and inventoried. (Quartzy can also compare your to-order item to pricing that the site can secure, and sometimes offer you the same item for less cost – an option that has saved our lab several hundreds of dollars this year.) I personally find this very helpful, working in a small department without a full time lab associate, to keep track of orders among my colleagues for our intro labs. And now, the site can mark received orders in three ways: update the existing item in your inventory (change location/quantity), add the delivered item as a new item to your inventory, or leave your inventory untouched.
There are several other updates to the site that are worth taking a look. If you manage a lab, Quartzy can be a good option for making your job easier.
What about you? How do you manage inventory for your work? What other options would you like to see in inventory management systems? Let us know in the comments.Return to Top