From: "Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety" <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] 8 RE: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Inventory
Date: May 15, 2013 12:32:19 PM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <1598EFB8-303D-43BC-BDAB-99E72A110EDC**At_Symbol_Here**>

From: "Romano, Joe P"
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Inventory
Date: May 15, 2013 10:28:15 AM EDT

If I may, there are two parts to my response. I will start with the original question of how it is 'funded'. I have found that this depends on the sophistication of the accounting department and system. My experience indicates that a centralized system across several specialties (departments) uses an overhead approach...think averaging cost. Very sophisticated systems use an 'activity' based approach which can be really a huge administrative burden to use and maintain.

The second part of my response is around compliance in use of the 'system'. Start with the premise of what is the expected outcome of the system to be put in place. Maybe you don't know. Involve the key stakeholders: purchasing, receiving, inventory management, and end user. There may be several competing agendas: who do they buy from, how is it received, knowledge of inventory for exposure, safety, hazard management, hazard segregation, dispensing and replacement, etc. This list could be long. Start with key stakeholders and understand the problem from their perspective and then wrap whatever is the final endpoint into their needs.

Joseph Romano
Technical Director Chemical Compliance Management
office 614-856-6174
iphone 614-477-6851
Thought of the day! I think the first duty of society is justice.
Alexander Hamilton

Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Inventory
Date: May 15, 2013 10:12:05 AM EDT

Ditto. In addition to receiving control the accuracy of the database is helped by collecting empty bottles and scannig them as "disposed of". A collection tray in each lab and a weekly scan do the job. Additionally, the bottles are disposed of in a controlled process.
An inventory like that is never fully accurate. A 95% accuracy within 6 months from inventory still encourages use.

Slawomir Janicki

Speaking only for myself... etc.

From: "bill galdenzi"

Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Inventory


We have an inventory system for our chemistry departments. Our R&D organization paid for it and our IT department supports it. The chemistry departments do not pay for their use. However, on a related topic- We have found that unless you have centralized receiving, delivery and retrieval your inventory system becomes worthless. Once folks forget to update, use, ...etc. the system is becomes inaccurate and then people realize that it is not reliable so they don't use it anymore (it snowballs). We now have a group that, among other things, receives chemicals, barcodes, delivers, retrieves chemical to be returned to stockrooms....etc. The individual departments do pay for this service. We also do a semi-annual re-inventory where all chemicals are "checked out" and then end users have to "re-scan in" their reagents. We do not include routine solvents but include all "fine chemicals".

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

From: Lawrence M Gibbs
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Inventory
Date: May 15, 2013 11:21:47 AM EDT
To: "'DCHAS-L'"

Centrally funded by university and costs go into indirect cost charges to funding agencies.


From: David Roberts
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Inventory
Date: May 15, 2013 9:10:32 AM EDT

We have a centralized system. We are a small university (2500 students, undergrad only), and we have a small disposal budget (technically it's unlimited, but we do try to stay within a fixed budget). When we went to our centralized system, the University just kicked in funds. It's not expensive. You need software, some sort of printer, and if you want a barcode scanner. Once you have a system in place, the only "cost" is me printing out barcodes for people - which isn't that difficult (part of my job).

We have around 5000 total bottles of things (most of which are unique - though we have some things with 5-10 bottles each).

There are many systems out there, I'm not an advocate for any. In my opinion, the majority do way more than I need. But I will admit, something that makes a centralized database with good queries is nice. Think ahead when you do it, try to anticipate ways you may want to search later (chem formula for example is not part of my database - but there was an empty field that I never used, so I put the formula there). It's a lot easier to get as much info as possible in the beginning than to wait and try to retro fit information.

Good luck


From: Margaret Rakas
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Inventory
Date: May 15, 2013 10:17:57 AM EDT

We're not a PRI, but.... The administration paid for implementation, purchase of software, etc., and pays for the maintenance fee the software vendor charges. There are no charge-backs to anyone.

We hire work-study students to do most of the input and lab inventory.

Hope this is helpful...

From: "Ashbrook, Peter C"
Subject: RE: Chemical Inventory
Date: May 15, 2013 9:55:12 AM EDT


Our School of Chemical Sciences took it upon themselves to purchase CISPro. They also have hired an FTE to keep the inventory up to date. Otherwise, we don't have a centralized inventory system.


From: James Keating
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Inventory
Date: May 15, 2013 11:17:06 AM EDT

You are welcome and good luck. Managing legacy waste chemicals is difficult, especially when dealing with thousands of different and mixed chemicals.
Jim Keating

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.