Stock management remains one of the fundamental assignments for any successful organization. Such is the case because every organisation would want to see the purchased equipment or goods being put to proper use and generate the desired returns for the growth of the organisation.
However most organisations find this task to be “alot of work” to accomplish and eventually fail to produce convincing reports on how stocks are managed. In fact , stock management is about accountability. Stock management requires time to track every item coming in and out of the organization and doing this manually can be stressing, costly and demanding.
The case has not been different for Baobab Health Trust which has been running a less computerized stock management system for over a decade until management decided to develop own comprehensive electronic stock management system .
Using the paper-based system and spreadsheets makes it inefficient to manage, monitor, track and report for the thousands of network and hardware equipment being deployed to the sites.
According to BHT business case for the BHT stock management system, the project was hatched to provide an automated way of managing and accounting for the inventory which BHT procures , stores and deploys to various sites within Malawi. It also states that the system will ensure accountability, transparency, monitoring and easy management of all assets at at any location.
Project Owner Aubrey Chirwa says they system has been deployed at four main receiving and dispatch centers namely Lilongwe BHT Headquarters and Support Office , Lilongwe BHT Warehouse at Kamuzu International Airport , Blantyre BHT Office and Blantyre BHT Warehouse.
“ We completed the development of the system at a moment we were also anticipating huge stocks for the scale up work targeting 122 existing sites and 141 new health facilities. We had no other alternative other than throwing in everything to make sure we have a working system that responds to the growth of the organisation”. Said Chirwa
He added that so far the system has been tested and working as expected with minor issues earmarked for improvement.
The in-house development was preferred as a low cost option with a pool of talented software developers bracing the challenge.
Executive Director for Baobab Health Martha Kwataine described the completion of the project as a great relief.
“ The project has been pending for many years and I am glad that we have come to a close. Moments came when we started looking through the window in search for quick alternatives but the available options couldn’t meet our expectations and standards hence my team engaged an extra gear and once again proved they are worth of doing anything” Said Kwataine.
Asked if other organisations can use the system having been described the best by key partners , Kwataine said BHT is always open for such discussions as it believes in offering local solutions for local problems.
He therefore thanked Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC for the technical support towards the development of the system.
The BHT document management system is a real time based system capable of producing various reports on command.