Inventory Management Assessment Tool (IMAT)

Tool

Purpose: To examine the effectiveness of stock monitoring and record-keeping practices in warehouses and help users identify suggestions for improvement.

Description: A user-friendly instrument designed to collect and calculate indicators of effective inventory management. The IMAT guides the user through a process of collecting data on the physical and theoretical stock balance and the duration of stockouts for a set of up to 25 frequently-used products, calculating indicators, analyzing the results, and identifying strategies for improving record-keeping and stock management practices. The IMAT comes as a computerized spreadsheet in Excel and includes instructions, a data collection form, analysis guidelines, recommendations, and a graphical display of the indicator results.

Intended Users: The IMAT is intended to be used in warehouses and other organizations that manage inventory (e.g. contraceptives, essential drugs, vaccines, IEC materials, surgical equipment). It is recommended to use the IMAT as a team exercise for identifying record-keeping and stock management problems and developing solutions to improve them. The assessment should be led by managers who are responsible for the warehouse's overall performance, in collaboration with other warehouse staff. The IMAT can also be conducted by a Technical Assistant as part of a consultancy.

Application: First developed in Haiti in 1997. It was applied by a technical assistance team at the Hôpital Universitaire d'État d'Haiti and in a regional warehouse in Haiti. The tool was pilot tested with the help of the Family Planning Association of Nepal and the Nepal Fertility Care Center.

Advantages: Useful for calculating a baseline of inventory management and conducting follow-up evaluations in warehouses.

Limitations: The tool is for evaluation, thus does not replace the need for operational monitoring in a warehouse.

Recommendations for Users: IMAT should be conducted at the beginning of a workday before any new transactions have taken place. User should allow at least a half-day to complete the assessment. 

Reports and Publications: None.

Availability: English