From: David Roberts <droberts**At_Symbol_Here**DEPAUW.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Inventory
Date: Fri, 20 May 2016 08:20:52 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 4938D376-E8E4-422E-B15A-7A7FDFA89ECE**At_Symbol_Here**

So there are different ways to manage an inventory. At some point, it"s data entry, and you want that as clean and correct as possible. However, sometimes you just have to do what is best for your situation, and deal with the fact that it is never perfect.

What we do here is a home spun inventory program. I used a store bought program for years, which was good as I could see how they work and it allowed me to barcode our chemistry inventory and manage that well (it"s the most unique inventory on campus). Then, after many years we went to a program that I wrote, which is just managing a way to put data into a database and view it. With that, I could add multiple users, multiple administrators, etcČ?| for free (the other program you paid per user, so it was a bit limited). It"s a javascript webpage (for adding/manipulating data) that puts data into a database on the cloud. All I really have to do is change forms on a website and data is entered differently (so if we add a building with chemicals, or a new room with chemicals, I just have to change a drop down menu to reflect that and it"s done).

Now we have gone University wide with our inventory. I started the process within every department, and have since shown people how to take control of it themselves. We have key people in the major areas (one in biology, one in chemistry, one in art, one in facilities). All of them have the ability to add chemicals to a database. So they all handle all chemical purchases for their respective areas. We can tailor it to meet the needs of different departments because different people will enter data in a different way. So that just means I have different javascript forms for each department, so that they can use the fields they feel are important for data entry. It"s one large inventory that is centrally managed (I take care of the overall thing, so if people have issues they just email me and I fix it), but it"s really 4 individual inventories in terms of how data is entered.

Nothing is perfect, but it works for our situation. We are a small college (2400 students) so in our situation it"s perfect (and the cost is right). I do have problems here with people ordering their own chemicals within my department and not letting me know - but most of those things are biological enzymes that are frozen and have very short lifetimes, so I don"t really worry about it (plus they also have very small volumes).

What it allows us to do is see what our inventory is across campus. We can search the inventory at any time looking for particular things. Obviously if somebody entered it wrong then it won"t show up on the inventory. But overall that"s minor, and it has raised awareness of chemicals all over campus, and given us a better feel for everything we have. It works.

Good luck


> On May 20, 2016, at 5:36 AM, Stuart, Ralph wrote:
>> For those of you who use a single inventory for the entire campus, who manages it and how do you receive the chemicals and then get them out to the different buildings on campus?
> Some campuses have been able to make the case that this function is important enough to their EHS program that they have dedicated staff to perform this function. The number of necessary staff is likely to depend on the size and arrangement of the campus involved. UMass Amherst and the Univ of New Hampshire are two such campuses. Well-organized questions of staff there may be able to help you estimate the staffing requirements for your campus.
> - Ralph
> Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
> Chemical Hygiene Officer
> Keene State College
> ralph.stuart**At_Symbol_Here**

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