Inventory Nightmares: More Stories of Inventory Tracking Hell


This isn’t the first time we’ve shared stories of inventory tracking nightmares—instances when improper inventory tracking led to scary situations—and it likely won’t be the last. Although a solid inventory tracking system is important, many businesses don’t have an accurate and efficient tool to keep track of important business items—whether those items consist of consumable inventory or fixed assets.

If you haven’t invested in an inventory tracking or asset management system, these scary stories might make you jump (to implement a solution).

Inventory Finds Deadly Pathogens Not in the Database 

In 2009, an inventory of potentially deadly pathogens at Fort Detrick’s infectious disease laboratory in Maryland found more than 9,000 vials that had not been included in their inventory database. Some vials contained dangerous pathogens, among them the Ebola virus and anthrax bacteria. Possibly the scariest part of this story? “The overstock and the previous inaccuracy of the database raised the possibility that someone could have taken a sample outside the lab with no way for officials to know something was missing.”

Study Finds Serious Medication Errors Common in Hospitals

iStock_000050087332In 2010, the National Institute of Health reported on a study performed at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston. The study found serious medication errors are common in hospitals. In fact, research showed an 11.5 percent error rate on medications that were not tracked by barcodes. The good news? When barcodes were implemented to track medication inventory, the rate of potently adverse reactions, as a result of patients getting the wrong medication, fell from 3.1 percent to 1.6 percent.

U.S. Army Base Lockdown Launches Rumors of Missing Nuclear Weapon

Earlier this month, a “sensitive item” went missing from the armory at Fort Carson in Colorado, triggering a lockdown. The sensitive item in question could have been anything — from weapons and ammunition to night vision goggles. However, the incident caused Internet rumors that the missing item could potentially be a nuclear weapon. That would be have been a real nightmare! Thankfully, those rumors are reported to be false.     

Which of these do you think is the scariest inventory tracking story?  Share it with us by tweeting at us!

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Brian Sutter

Brian Sutter

Director of Marketing at Wasp Barcode
Brian Sutter is the Director of Marketing at Wasp, responsible for the development and execution of the company’s marketing strategy. His role encompasses brand management, direct and channel marketing, public relations, advertising, and social media. He also writes and speaks on topics related to helping small business owners grow their business and improve operational efficiency.
Brian Sutter
Brian Sutter