Make an inventory of all supplies, their specifications and the suppliers


In this phase the Inventory Control System will be established. The first step is formulating the specifications of, and determining the number of supplies in stock.

In the right-hand column general information on purchasing and inventory is provided from the WHO Laboratory Quality Management System handbook.


List all the supplies in the laboratory, determine which of those must always be in stock, and formulate their standard specifications. The standard specifications are requirements you have to formulate with regard to the characteristics you want the supplies to comply with. For example: a specification of the purity of a certain reagent, a specification of the minimum time to expiry, etc.

The procedure below is for manual development of an inventory control register. However, for TB laboratories the TB CAP Laboratory Toolbox contains Excel-based registers that can be used for inventory control. These files already contain lists of supplies needed by TB laboratories. The toolbox also supplies Word documents that describe how the Excel files work.

How & who

Stock Officer:

  1. Make a list of supplies currently in stock. Do this using the Stock Cards.
  2. Determine whether there are any supplies missing from this list.
  3. Determine critical amounts for each supply (i.e. the number of items of each supply by which a new order needs to be made; take into account the time it usually takes from ordering to delivery when calculating this).
  4. Determine maximum stock amount of each supply based on use. Setting limits to the size of orders can help to prevent expiry of items.
  5. Formulate the standard specifications of all supplies. These specifications are necessary for checking new deliveries when they arrive at the laboratory before placing them in the stock. You also need them for placing new orders to be sure that you order the correct product.
  6. List for each item the supplier details of the supplier normally used to order the supply.
  7. The list you have now made will be used to set-up an inventory control system in the next activities.

Back to Roadmap Activity Overview
This activity belongs to the QSE Purchasing & Inventory
ISO15189:2007: 4.6.3