Inventory Management or Stock Control is an integral part of any Maintenance Department and can unfortunately be the least managed area. Usually due to Maintenance Department’s staff being depleted over time or personnel not being properly trained in the discipline of Stock Control.
It’s a no brainer, taking control of this situation is one of the first major steps to improving all round Maintenance Management. Things like ‘just knowing’ what stock you have on hand enables you, the supervisor or planner to schedule work and have it finished in a timely manner, this will also help with the reduction of Down Time in regards to Equipment and/or enable Production schedules to go on unhindered.
Start off by implementing some basic principles and keep it simple by Standardisation;
Centralising your Parts and Material; Designate an area or room specifically to store all Parts & Materials and place in a logical Bin or shelving system, which is easily accessible to Maintenance Staff or Storeman should you have one.
Identify and Name all Parts and Materials; very self-explanatory and implementing a naming convention to standardise how all old, current and new Parts and Materials are named. This will provide everyone with clarity and will reduce the duplication of orders and simple mistakes of identification.
- Stocktake; After Standardisation and reorganising your Stock so it’s easily accessible, Count your stock. Once your Stock has been counted this will become the basis for your control which will then enable the maintenance department to have a grasp on what Parts & Materials are ‘on hand’ and available for up and coming works or if there is a specific part immediately available for a breakdown or reactive job that has just been raised.
These are only a couple of the basic principles of Inventory Management but it’s a starting point. Further benefits and advantages will come as time goes on when processes are tweaked and experience is gained.
Some areas that will further benefit you and your Maintenance Department include the reduction of Stock on hand to keep costs down, monitoring stock levels i.e. reorder points & min max levels which leads to the automation of raising Purchase Orders for the ordering of required stock.
More of these will be covered in our upcoming Inventory Management series.