As a relative newcomer to the EPI supply chain world, but not to healthcare supply chain I have always struggled with some of the terminology.
One term in particular bugs me. And not just because I can be a bit pedantic but because its genuninely confusing: the term "inventory management" when used in EPI Supply Chain terminology.
Now I always understood inventory to be something you or your organization/value chain/supply chain worked on, added value to, to ultimately resell or pass along to an end user. Medicines can be inventory (for a manufacturer or a supply chain). Widgets.
Now in the EPI world inventory management is often used to refer to what I would refer to as "assets". To me refrigerators are only inventory if you are making them or are distributing them. If refrigerators are something you use to store vaccines, they are an asset (or a piece of hardware) but they are not inventory.
So in meetings when people talk about inventory management, one half of the room thinks we are talking about managing vaccines, and the other half thinks we are talking about assets like fridges and freezers.
Words matter, we need to speak the same language. A plea: can we talk about inventory management when we refer to managing medecines/vaccines/ etc and asset management when we talk about fridges, freezers (and indeed trucks and other hardware)?
(And of course you could do an inventory on your assets - i.e. count your fridges - just to confuse things even further but I believe asset managmeent or "cold chain asset managment" is a better, more encompassing term)