We have instrument tracking systems that include all kinds of imperative information, including, but not limited to, photos of sets, inventory sheets, set numbers, serial numbers, and reporting on anything you could ever desire. At face value, the reports and tools readily available to you seem monumentally valuable, but are they really? Let’s compare your tracking system to a bank; you have assets at your fingertips but cannot or do not know how to accurately access them to make use of the money (aka your data).

 The bank (your tracking system) 

Think of your tracking system as the bank; it houses your access to your tangible assets. Without access to your money, you don’t have the ability to purchase anything. Your purchases would simply look like a long Amazon Wish List or a bank statement with multiple pages of data, but you have no debit card to make payments and no other way to access funds. Often, our tracking systems and data end up being the bank, or one giant house full of assets simply waiting to be tapped into.

Depending on the vendor, the data within your tracking systems can be priceless. You likely have reports waiting to be tapped into that you had no clue existed. We recommend that you contact your representative and ask to talk about the information specific to your facility. 

Ask the following questions: 

  • What are the top three reporting tools available to your customers that are most often underutilized?
  • Can you show me how to pull these reports?
  • What shortcuts exist in accessing our data that we may be unaware of?
  • What key performance indicators (KPIs) should we be leveraging?
  • How can the information available to us help improve our daily workflow? 

You may not be aware of the information and actionable insights available to you. Schedule a recurring quarterly call with the representative responsible for the tracking system at your facility and tap into the data you may not be leveraging. 

Your bank (vendor/tracking system) has programs and systems accessible at your fingertips, you just have to gain the proper access and understanding. 

The teller (your access to information) 

Now that you’ve scheduled a call with your rep and have some great questions ready to ask them, it’s time to gain access. Sure, you have a login to the portal, but how keen is your understanding of the reporting and information available to you? 

The first step to better understanding how your system can work for you is to figure out your benchmarks. When you first started working with the vendor, where were the numbers at? Is the data still accurate and is it trending in a positive direction? 

If you never benchmarked important KPIs, it becomes tedious to measure progress. 

Five KPIs worth measuring starting today are: 

  1. Productivity
  2. Throughput per day (how many instruments can be processed per day to meet demand?)
  3. Error rate
  4. Inventory optimization
  5. Same-day turns 

These KPIs will be critical areas to understand as you start to leverage your data for buying decisions. 

The money (using your data to serve) 

Data is only as good as the analysis surrounding it. This will require you to understand the information you’ve gathered and gain actionable intelligence from it. 

A quality vendor partner will be able to help you not only easily access this data (the best case scenario is it’s in a cloud-based system), but also help you translate the data to illustrate areas for improvement and help identify how the numbers can help you leverage your departmental needs and get approval for staffing and additional equipment. 

The biggest truth in all of this is you must be partnered with a system/vendor that creates the actionable data you need and helps you translate it. This full responsibility does not fall only on the vendor—it’s on you to maintain the accuracy of what is in the system and make sure you have a standing call on the books with your representative to make sure everyone is on the same page. If you want access to your vault of money and information, it’s time to tap into the data waiting to be accessed right at your fingertips.