Dear Group Members, I am Jose Almeida a lab scientist from Mozambique. My team needs a training package/software for laboratory forecasting that provides accurate figures of future commodity needs. We have been using simple calculations such as number of tests performed during the last 12 months, plus estimated growth rate for the following period. Doing in this way, our numbers have been questioned several times when submitting data for funding applications. What makes even more challenging is the fact that it's quite difficult to estimate the reagent usage rate for some lab equipment. Does anyone have experience or tools/software in lab forecasting to help us?
Hi Jose Almeida,
Your name sounds familiar. It sounds like we have met in one of the GCP Training. I attended one in Maputo in 2007. Anyway, my name is Ken Awuondo from KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Kilifi, Kenya. You have asked a very valid question. Procurement and Inventory is one area that many Laboratories do not get right simply because it is not easy to predict how the Laboratory will operate in the coming 12 years. But if you are doing a study project then it could be easy to predict.
I do not know of any template or a software for projection but they could be there. If you are doing a study project then you will take a look at the study protocol. In the protocol, you will find a table with a list of activities. The table will usually show the total number targeted, the number of visits and Lab tests to be performed. Take a look at the Lab kit/reagent you want to purchase then determine how many tests a kit can do. Using this information, you can arrive at the prediction of the reagents/kits. However, this is subject to consistency of the Laboratory operation. There was a time we had planned for the Lab purchase.......Reagent/ kits were bought and the study started. A long the way, the was a staff strike along the way and this affected the participation into the study. The reagents which were bought with anticipation, expired on the shelf. I am glad to share with you the formula which I have used in the past. Avoid buying Reagents in big bulk because even manufactures to make changes that can an impact on your assays.
The USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, Task Order 4, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) published in 2011 a guide for forecasting consumption of laboratory commodities called "Quantification of Health Commodities: Laboratory Commodities Companion Guide".
You can access the guide here: