STOK survey

Added Value from Inventory Management in Hospitals


Arvato and the University of Paderborn’s professorship for service management carried out a study in order to confirm what added value STOK inventory management solutions provide for hospitals and to discover how those solutions can better help clinics carry out their day-to-day activities. The study has been carried out on an ongoing basis since May 2018, starting with German hospitals; it is currently being rolled out in other European countries as well.

In addition, an international medical technology manufacturer carried out a study from July through September of 2017 to determine how satisfied hospitals are with Arvato’s STOK services; this study has already shown that 98.5 percent of the customers are satisfied with the analyses of discrepancies that STOK employees perform on site. This figure was subsequently confirmed in our own recently conducted survey: 98 percent of participants think very highly of STOK’s on-site analyses of discrepancies.

The current study also shows that, for three-quarters of the hospitals surveyed, the inventory counts conducted make day-to-day work easier. STOK offers a modular service concept at the point of care that covers inventory counts on the ward, usage analysis and even the restocking of medical products. This eases the burden on both medical technology manufacturers’ sales representatives and on hospital staff, who then have more time for what really matters: patient well-being.


of the participants felt that the inventory counts conducted make their daily work easier


of the hospitals like that STOK can perform counts for multiple manufacturers at the same time

When it comes to the question of whether having additional stock brought in for replenishment purposes would bring added value if it occurred at the same time as stock-taking, almost one-fifth of those surveyed responded in the negative and thus expressed objections to active replenishment during inventory counts. More than half view the service as a positive added value. And two-thirds of the hospitals surveyed prefer quarterly counts. Just under one quarter find monthly inventories to be optimal. The visit cycles can be coordinated individually with the manufacturer. There is also flexibility regarding the systematic on-site stock-taking process. Either STOK’s own scanner-based stock-taking system can be used, or the manufacturer’s own IT solutions can be integrated into the process.


The respondents did not quite agree as to whether shorter periods between counts have a positive influence on the counting of consigned goods and the accuracy of the counts. Just under half of all study participants agree and see shorter intervals between stock-taking as an added value. About one-third take a neutral view of the question, and for 15 percent, shorter intervals have no influence on the counting or accuracy of the inventory. It is worth mentioning the result regarding the question of whether hospitals find it advantageous to be able to carry out inventories for multiple manufacturers at the same time. Eighty percent completely agree that it is, as hospital processes are thereby significantly less disrupted.



of participants think very highly of STOK’s on-site analyses of discrepancies


see additional value if STOK immediately provides replenishment with a count and sorts replenishment onto the shelf


think a higher count frequency has a positive impact on stock accuracy and the inventory counts

In addition to supporting healthcare companies with respect to optimal inventory levels or delivery frequency, STOK employees are also available as ongoing contacts for each hospital. This builds trust with nursing staff while also improving the partnership between the hospital and the manufacturer. Manufacturers then benefit from potential synergistic and bundling effects, since the STOK Field Data Analyst only has to go to the point of care one time, check in one time and take the goods into the particular hospital ward one time.

The study is being expanded in collaboration with the University of Paderborn; the goal is to use detailed interviews to obtain additional information about the added value of STOK inventory management. The full survey results are available on the Arvato website. The results of the survey in other European countries in which STOK offers its services are also gradually being published there.

Do you have any questions about our STOK solutions?

Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Verhoeven

Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Verhoeven

Vice President STOK Europe