I was forwarded a message asking for reviews of the CISPro Inventory software from ChemSW. Our college has used this software since the early to mid 2000s and recently upgraded to the current version.
First, I can say we don't even scratch the surface of capability for this software. We have an inventory of about 6000 chemicals. With CISPro, we were able to barcode every bottle and can now perform a complete inventory by a single person in 2 days where it used to take several people several days and lots of manual labor. The software will recognize when a container is scanned in a different location and automatically updates to reflect the move. Disposal tracking is easy as well. Furthermore, our barcode labels also indicate the storage location so one needs only to read the label to know where to put a bottle back instead of having to look it up (very useful when students come and go from the stockroom and leave bottles sitting out)
There are add-on modules for MSDS storage that link the document to a particular container or there are subscription MSDS services that the software can access. Another module allows access to chemical information that one can import for a new entry rather than type everything out by hand. Yet another module can generate Fire Department reports that can show where flammable items are stored, how much is on hand and any hazards that are present--useful for Fire Department inspections or if there's an emergency. Chemicals can also be flagged and sorted based on custom lists, or the many Governmental watch lists.
The software also has custom security settings (with passwords). In our case, there is a "Student" login that allows lookup but will not allow them to change any info (useful from an Admin standpoint).
Customer service is also outstanding. Web and phone training are offered with purchase and are useful to get up and running quickly. They offer service contracts or per-incident support.
The software does have a weighty price tag at first glance, but the costs can be fairly easily justified by the capability offered, even for a small inventory such as ours.
If anyone has any further questions or inquires about our setup, please let me know.
Lab Prep. Supervisor/Stockroom Manager/NMR Coordinator
Department of Chemistry
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