Bitesize Bio contributor Megan Cartwright this week proposes a system to keep lab supply orders and fulfillments straight. "Ordering, receiving, auditing, and following-up on outstanding orders are all boring and time-consuming aspects of a lab manager's job," Cartwright says. But, "given the money involved and research's time-sensitive nature, these mundane but important tasks must be as simple as possible for all lab members," she adds.
To make it so, Cartwright suggests keeping a clipboard with fresh order sheets where every lab member can access it, a binder with hard copies of all order receipts, and designated spaces for fresh supplies as they come in. With the system in place, monthly upkeep — replenishing the order sheets, checking the receiving bins and supply stock, and following up on any outstanding orders — is all that's left to be done, she says.