• Steve McCoy

Videos: Sample & Inventory Management with Virtual Assistants

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be promoting video examples of our scientific virtual assistants in action. In this post, we’re going to include a few videos, illustrating the power of virtual assistants in sample & inventory management.

There are numerous activities in sample management labs where virtual assistants provide a boon to researchers: submitting samples, placing orders, characterizing samples, preparing plates, and more.

Below, we’ve highlighted two of the more common use cases we see: Location Look Up & Order Check.

Location Look Up

Ideally, finding samples in a manual store should be an easy process. Print out your order, go to the store, and voila, there are the samples. Fast forward a few hours later, the scientist has finished with the samples and goes to return them to their original location.However, there are unfortunately opportunities for error at every step along the way. A printed order could get lost, the scientist could grab the wrong sample or forget to take a sample with them.When he/she finished, he/she might not know where to place the samples or he/she might misread the paper and put them in the wrong spot. Samples may then be hard to find by other team members.

These are some examples of how a snowball effect of confusion can occur from a few minor errors. The resolution then requires the team to take time away from their tasks to update their inventory.

Never fear - virtual assistants are here! As seen in the next two videos, scientific virtual assistants can be used as an easier way to prevent the aforementioned errors and provide other support as well.

In this first video, a researcher uses LabVoice to find the location of reagents in her freezer. Not displayed is the ability to query the inventory management system and find out additional information like the reagent expiration date or remaining amount.

In this second video, a researcher is using the LabVoice barcode scanner (part of the mobile experience) to find the locations of samples in the manual stores. Now, she doesn’t need to bring the piece of paper with her from the office to the lab. When her work with the samples concludes, she can then run the same process backwards, making sure the samples end up in the right spot.

Order Check

Location lookup functionality does not resolve the issue of grabbing the wrong sample, which happens more than we like to admit. In our experience, it rarely leads to catastrophic issues, but it does lead to frustration when the researcher realizes their mistake and has to return to the store.

For that particular case, we find the order check capability to be quite the resolution. Using the barcode scanner, LabVoice is able to check against any order and verify if the sample belongs, is not part of the order, or even if there were samples left behind.

Take a look:

Other Inventory Use Cases

We’ve compiled a number of use cases around inventory management. If you’re interested in seeing any of the below, reach out to us at and we’d be happy to chat! Click the links for a case study or video demo!

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