June 08, 2022
Stockroom Challenges - Part II
I know you've waited breathlessly this past week for the second part of this series highlighting and solving stockroom challenges. You can relax now, here it is.
Last week, I discussed lack of inventory through two scenarios. One home-based, the second work based. Each scenario ran a close parallel to the other, the only difference being location.
Speaking of location, that will be part of today's scenarios.
Scenario 1 - home
A. We're back in the home workshop, however, not only do you have access to the parts and tools, but so does your family and a couple neighbors. (You're just that type of person.) However, problems arise over time. People can just walk in any time of day or night and take a tool without telling you. Then, as a 'favor' some people see you're low on items, so they'll buy more without knowing if you need them.
B. Another problem is that while you gave access to the family and a couple friends, you realize the shop isn't that secure. Conceivably, anyone could enter and take stuff.
C. When you're in need of tools, they're not available. This is because those neighbors haven't returned them. Instead of buying their own, they're hoarding yours.
D. No one puts anything back where it was stored. You may have a tool, but don't know where it is.
Everything is a mess. You don't know what you have or where specific items are located.
Scenario 2 - office
As with last week, take the above problems and see if they are similar at your facility.
Workers and other employees have free access to the stockroom, taking and adding parts and tools at will. When a particular set of tools is needed, you discover a couple workers have stashed them in their personal lockers or storage spaces. Even when items are returned, they're just tossed on a shelf or in a box, so you have no idea where anything is.
Again, everything is a mess. Who has what parts or tools? Where are the items if workers do return them? Will you be able to find enough when emergency repairs are needed? How will you know if you need to purchase more?
The obvious answer for your home workshop is to restrict access. Add locks on cabinets, drawers, and doors. You're not being a hard nose, but borrowers need permission to use tools. You might keep a checklist for who uses what item. This discourages hoarding because you know who has what. When the person returns said item, thank them, then make sure it's replaced in its designated spot.
Take time to organize where everything is stored. My grandfather labeled each drawer in each cabinet. I've seen pegboards with hooks for different sized tools. After using one, it goes back into its slot or hook.
How about in the workplace? Can a similar system be used? Absolutely! With a CMMS, you can put everything in its proper place. When you're creating your inventory list, assign each item a location. Be as specific as you want. Aisle, shelf, bin or maybe cabinet and drawer. You won't have workers or the stockroom manager searching all over for parts.
You can even go further! Restrict access to that stockroom. Through the CMMS, you have an issue/return process. Some tools may need authorization to be issued. The same holds true when workers complete the job. What? Authorizations for returning stuff? Think of it in terms of bringing back the correct item and/or the correct number. No more hoarding. No more incorrect quantities. No more extra unneeded parts.
Your inventory is valuable and needs proper care. I discussed last week about planning what functions you want a CMMS to accomplish. Information such as inventory location, authorization for stockroom access, issues and returns, and other data now can be input into your system. This may take some time, just as it would for your workshop at home. Once inventory and other information are implemented, you'll be ready for the next step. You'll also feel so satisfied you've done a majority of the time-consuming work. Go ahead, take a break, you deserve it.
For further CMMS implementation details, call your friendly Mapcon Technologies representative at 800-922-4336. No need to go it alone when Mapcon is here to assist.
Next week, let's continue on our journey to meet those stockroom challenges. (You can hold on until next week, right? Relax, it's only seven days.)