How to Reduce Vendor Trays

Updated: Nov 15


If you feel like you have become a storage facility, you’re probably right.

And I get it’s challenging. Unless you have the strictest closed-loop system where every tray is scanned to a case and back through every step or to a shelf, it’s very easy for a rep to remove a tray for another facility. Then, they throw it back into your decontam during your busiest hours without anyone noticing.

But that won’t change until you begin to do something about it. Is it better to wait until you have to pay upwards of $30k for an instrument set because you can’t prove your process?

Rome was not built in a day, and you must start somewhere. Counting is the best place to start: How many vendor trays do you have? How many are actually consigned? Parked? Most facilities have a really difficult time getting to these numbers.

Then, dig into which are turning, and which aren’t. How many additional are coming in as loaners? What surgeons are requiring more trays and for which procedures?

Identifying just a few of these metrics are the building blocks to real conversations with clinical teams and surgeons who are critical to begin driving any change. The reps aren’t going to proactively remove them for you.

At a baseline, to begin reducing the number of sets, establish some baseline metrics for consignment: -Minimum number of times loaned prior to consignment -Maximum idle time

These strategies shouldn’t just apply to vendor trays. Cleansing your own sets from time to time and off-loading them to the market can fetch a pretty penny. For a department often starving for funds, that could pay for that new machine, or perhaps a better software solution that brings this information directly to you? Just some ideas...