Warehouse Information System Assessment

Tool

Purpose:

To assess the appropriateness of computerizing a health facility warehouse. If users are interested in receiving technical assistance to improve and/or computerize the logistics information system, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) will analyze the responses to determine the initial steps in this process.

Description:

A multiple-choice, self-evaluation questionnaire that covers basic information about the type and quantity of products managed in the warehouse; the procurement, distribution, and inventory management processes; and information technology. Analysis guidelines help users assess the usefulness and feasibility of computerization and determine their management system's readiness for computerizing the logistics management information system.

Developed by:

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) in Nepal and Madagascar in 1996.

Intended Users:

Warehouse managers or MIS managers at the programmatic level.

Application:

In 1997, the Warehouse Information System Assessment was completed by the director of the Pharmacy of the State University Hospital of Haiti. MSH staff used the assessment results to set up a technical assistance plan for the Pharmacy, which included using the Inventory Management Assessment Tool (IMAT) to assess the effectiveness of record-keeping and stock management practices. MSH was able to determine that computerization was appropriate and that the pharmacy was a likely candidate for the Commodities and Logistics Management (CLM) software tool, but that some management issues would need to be addressed initially. MSH concluded that the work should be completed in two visits, one focusing on management and the other on computerization.

Advantages:

Helps to clarify the needs of a program interested in computerizing a warehouse. If technical assistance is required, allows for better planning of initial visit with interested program and may even lead to a different type of assessment (management rather than computer-focused).

Limitations:

Does not replace the need for an in-country assessment; determines the needs of a logistics program, not other logistics functions (such as point-of-sale, client consumption, etc.). Helps determine whether the warehouse management systems are ready for computerization, but does not offer detailed suggestions on making the necessary system improvements.

Recommendations for Users:

A logistics consultant or manager within the organization should meet with the warehouse staff and other personnel to gather the necessary information.

Reports and Publications:

None.

Availability:

The tool is available in English, French, and Spanish.

Contact:

Julie McFadyen
Center for Pharmaceutical Management
Management Sciences for Health
4301 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 400
Arlington, VA 22203
USA
Fax: (703) 524-7898
E-mail: jmcfadyen@msh.org

 

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