We’re pleased to announce the availability of barcode scanning in mSupply version 4.02.
Here’s a quick Q&A:
Q: Will it make running a warehouse super-reliable, reduce workloads, eliminate errors and make everyone happy?
Q: Why not?
A: Well, as of writing, less that 10% of items coming into a warehouse in the developing world will have a properly formatted barcode. This means you get a lot of extra work that goes like this:
- You receive an item into your warehouse. If it has a proper barcode, you’re good to go.
- If it has a non-compliant barcode or no barcode you have look up the item in mSupply.
- If the item already has a barcode, you print barcode labels and apply one label to each box.
- If the item doesn’t have a barcode assigned, you assign one then follow the same procedure as in the previous point
- Every time you open an outer carton or split a pallet you have to evaluate the items, and print and hand label every item that doesn’t have a compliant barcode.
Q: What standards do you follow?
A: We comply with multiple standards simultaneously:
- We’re fully GS1 compliant
- We follow the Indian government’s standards for barcoding of medicines
- We support the use of The mSupply Foundation’s open source universal code server to link a universal generic code to a particular GS1 manufacturer code.
Q: What can I do with barcodes once I’ve labelled everything?
A: You can:
- Perform a stocktake on a section of your warehouse using your scanner.
- Verify that the goods picked match what is specified on a pick list.
Q: What’s coming next?
A: We’ve got a long list of things we’re working on:
- Once more than just a smattering of items are correctly labelled by manufacturers we’ll introduce scanning of incoming goods.
- The mSupply Foundation is working on version 2 of the universal code server. This will enable synchronisation of GS1 barcodes on a global scale, quickly providing a large pre-populated database of barcodes to sites using LMIS software that support universal codes.
- Counterfeit medicines are a huge problem in some parts of the world. We’ll be working on bringing serialization to mSupply, and providing a way to verify the authenticity of medicines.
Where is mSupply used?
mSupply is designed to be used in developing countries around the world. You can find us in more than 35 countries.