Just-in-time (JIT) delivery is a system for inventory many organizations use to receive goods only as needed during the production process rather than stockpiling large amounts of a particular item. JIT delivery is certainly not a new concept; it has been used successfully both in the private and government sectors for decades. In the case of delivering important materials such as disposables and chemicals to those in the research and development fields, many in the pharmaceutical industry have adopted a type of JIT delivery system in order to reduce their costs and waste, but also to improve lab safety and create a more collaborative scientific workplace.

Nowadays, pharmaceutical companies are often turning to universities in a strategic partnership or collaboration to perform discovery research and development in part due to their academic freedom to explore new ideas or potential innovations. With reductions in federal funding, academia is turning to private industry for financial support of research. As a result, there is a very high demand for major research initiatives in higher education; however, universities are not accustomed to the “business” of creating a product or streamlining a workflow. Most universities have not yet adopted a JIT delivery model, but they will need to adopt more streamlined and effective delivery models in order to meet the increased demands of the scientific discovery industry.

There are many reasons why a more efficient delivery model is difficult to implement at a collegiate institution, including:

  • A typical collegiate campus building layout conflicts with ideal hazardous material storage
  • Large remote chemical storage depots can hinder efficiency
  • Grant funding methodologies encourage stockpiling

There is no doubt these challenges are real and difficult to overcome; however, universities can employ some measures to better their current delivery and storage methods. Some suggestions to consider:

  • Explore storage needs early in the design planning effort
  • Strategize to maximize the hazardous material storage capacity within the building
  • Consider a service circulation and corridor
  • Utilize a tracking system such as a barcoding or RFID system

Download this free whitepaper to read more about the challenges universities face when implementing more efficient methods of hazardous materials, and take a deeper dive into solutions to consider.