SSP Hacks for Ordering, Vending, and Inventory

This section has 4 hacks in it.
“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.”
Olin Miller


Ordering supplies for services is an on-going process that starts with inventory control which allows an organization to have a better idea of how many supplies they need and when they will be needed.

Vending and Events

Nonprofits can sell both goods and services to support the mission of their organization. Selling tee-shirts and other swag at conferences and holding rock shows in people’s backyards are time-honored traditions in the harm reduction community that organizations undertake to provide themselves with unrestricted funds and promote their mission and brands.

Inventory Control and Management

In traditional for-profit businesses, inventory control helps control costs and track “shrinkage” (theft). These are not concerns for most harm reduction programs so one unexpected finding from the Hacks conversations with harm reduction leaders is how concerned leaders are with inventory control and management.

Inventory Control at SSPs

Many SSPs attempt to always keep a careful count, however the reality is that data occasionally gets lost or forgotten in the rush to provide services so picking periods to pay special attention to inventory ensures the most accurate results.

More Resources

Don’t reinvent the wheel
During our development Harm Reduction Hacks have collected together a large number of resources from around the web you can find these in our resource folder in Google Docs. We are also always looking for more so help us by suggesting any resources we may have missed.
Suggest a Resource

External Resources

Collected from around the web
There are a number of external resources that contributed to the development of Harm Reduction Hacks. Here are a selection relating to this section:


The hacks on this site are shared with you under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence. This allows you (with attribution) to adapt content for your own use, although we do ask you to then also allow others to have equal access to anything you develop. More details of this licence can be found on the Creative Commons website.


We do not claim that this is an exhaustive set of strategies, shortcuts, or tips for running an SSP. What we do suggest is that Harm Reduction Hacks offers down-to-earth, practical information for being a better leader, starting and running an SSP, and providing syringe access services. We feel we can say this with confidence because the Hacks are based on interviews with, and the experiences of, literally generations of people who have been doing harm reduction work.

Please note that nothing in this guide should be construed as legal advice. Please consult an attorney local to your area to ensure your program is in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations that apply to your situation. 

Harm Reduction Hacks site design and implimentation by Nigel Brunsdon

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