Storeroom Management Improves Operations
Storeroom management may seem like a mundane task – one that must be done by someone, but which few people really understand or care about. In reality, the condition and management of your company’s store room can make or break your operation! The term storeroom management refers to a system which ensures that your maintenance team has the right parts, at the right time, and in the right quantity to handle any situation that arises. Whether it’s regularly scheduled plant maintenance or an unexpected equipment failure, your maintenance crews must have the parts to get their job done. Proper storeroom management techniques are the key! At Maintenance Innovators, our team of experts can help your business develop storeroom strategies that will help keep your operation up and running under even the most difficult conditions.
Manufacturers all over the world strive every day to reduce waste and improve efficiency in order to secure greater profits. Sometimes changes are made that seem like a good idea, but later prove to be catastrophic. One good example of this relates to storeroom management. Because the importance of this work is often misunderstood, many companies do not put the necessary resources in place to manage their storeroom stock effectively. Just as an army relies on its supply sergeants to make sure soldiers have the weapons and supplies they need to fight a battle, manufacturing companies rely on their storeroom managers to ensure that the parts needed to make necessary repairs and perform routine maintenance are in stock and easy to locate. Stores must also be inventoried, re-ordered and organized. Too often this important job is given to only one person, sometimes in an entry-level position, when what is needed is an experienced, professional storeroom management team. Even worse, in some companies, no one is in charge of the storeroom, and maintenance teams come and go, taking what they need as they need it. This can lead to missing or mislaid parts, a stockpile of obsolete or broken materials, inaccurate inventories and a host of other problems. Worst of all, it could mean operations downtime because your maintenance team can’t get the parts they need to address equipment failure!
Some basic building-blocks of good storeroom management are:
- Defined space: A clearly-designated area used only for storing items related to assets currently in the plant.
- Physical organization: a system for storing, labeling, and tracking individual items and the staff to maintain it.
- Security: Items must be kept secure. This is vital to accurate inventory as well as managing costs.
- New item setup: A method for adding new items to the inventory, with a standard set of information to be gathered for each.
- Ordering parts: A system for determining when/how parts need to be ordered, either automatically or on an as-needed basis. It should include a method for handling emergency orders.
- Receiving: A method for receiving the items from the shipper, inspecting their condition, checking them against the purchase order to ensure the correct item was shipped, and other tasks.
- Issuing: The process of distributing parts to the maintenance team. Work orders are vital to success here. No parts should leave the storeroom without a work order, even in an emergency situation.
Like so many areas of business, storeroom management is an evolving practice. If your company needs help to determine and implement best practices for your own storeroom, contact Maintenance Innovators at (913) 633-4009. With decades of experience serving industries all over the world, we have the expertise to help your company succeed!