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The Maintenance Management Blog

June 08, 2022

Stockroom Challenges - Part III

Image: a collection of gearsWelcome back! I'm glad you joined me for the third excursion into stockroom challenges. Today, I'm going to discuss an area that increases costs in ways you may not realize.

Staying in the same vein as the last two weeks, I'll relate a scenario you might have encountered in your home, then shift the focus to your workplace. So far, each scenario shares commonalities and, I hope, gives you a better perspective on matters. (I am here to help, you know.) Don't forget about the bonus discussion at the end.

Scenario 1 - home

A. This week, I get personal. Okay, no revelation about any deep dark secrets of mine, but I can directly relate to these examples.

One frustration I have is when I get around to straightening out desk or dresser drawers, I find items about which I'm confused. What was this used for? After a moment's contemplation, I'll remember it was for an item I no longer have. Cables, ink cartridges, adapters, other miscellaneous widgets that are useless because long ago I disposed of what they went with. Ever run across parts for machines and equipment you no longer use in your workshop?

B. I'll admit, I keep things because there might be a 'just in case' situation. Unfortunately, that situation never occurs, and the item sits on my desk or in a drawer for a long time. Do I get rid of it or keep it…you know, just in case?

C. I cannot count the number of times I've bought something because I think I'll need it and end up never using it. I'm frustrated to later discover this unused item and know I spent money on it.

D. Sometimes, I'll have items I find that I know are for something but can't recall what machine it's for. I've kept no record of the item and there isn't any accompanying documentation.

Scenario 2 - office

Does any of the above correlate to your facility's stockroom?

You have items for equipment no longer in service.

You have parts that haven't been used in over a year.

You have parts purchased but never used.

You have stray parts that don't seem to correspond with any equipment.

These all cost you money. How? The first three, in essence, are taking up space that might be better utilized for other items that do get used more often but require extra storage. Are you using more electricity or other utilities to keep these additional items?

With the second, have you spent money on too many items that are rarely used? How does that affect the budget?

With stray inventory, what are you supposed to do? If you dispose of it…well, you know it'll soon be needed.


Well, in my situation, I need to keep better track of purchases, categorize what I buy, document what they're for, conduct a routine 'cleaning' to dispose of items not used any more, and be aware of stuff that doesn't get used too often so I don't buy more.

A CMMS working for your operation helps track these types of inventory. You'll have reports to view that tell you the last time a part was used…if ever.

You'll be able to deactivate a part if it's for a piece of equipment no longer used. (You can even deactivate that specific equipment, too.)

A great feature of a CMMS is to connect parts to equipment through a hierarchy. Depending on your company, you might have equipment within equipment. A CMMS helps 'keep the family together.' That way, you'll know what parts goes with what machine.

Sound complicated? It shouldn't. Once you know how to use the system, you'll find the advantages of these reports and features. (This is the bonus from earlier, by the way.)

After you've implemented the information into the system (see Part II), you'll need to learn how to use said system. Your CMMS vendor should have training seminars available. For you and any of your workers who also will be using the system. Spend some time understanding the features and be able to ask questions.

Training at Mapcon is offered three ways. Inhouse, onsite, and online. Read all the details on our website. Call 800-223-4791 to schedule your training.

One more week of direct inventory related challenges, then for the final part, I'll change lanes and talk about those challenges when it comes to purchasing. (It's getting good now, isn't it? Admit it, you're hooked.)


Stephen Brayton

About the Author – Stephen Brayton


Stephen L. Brayton is a Marketing Associate at Mapcon Technologies, Inc. He graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College with a degree in Communications. His background includes radio, hospitality, martial arts, and print media. He has authored several published books (fiction), and his short stories have been included in numerous anthologies. With his joining the Mapcon team, he ventures in a new and exciting direction with his writing and marketing. He’ll bring a unique perspective in presenting the Mapcon system to prospective companies, as well as our current valued clients.


Filed under: inventory, challenges, stockroom, maintenance — Stephen Brayton on June 08, 2022