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The Maintenance Management Blog

June 08, 2022

Stockroom Challenges - Part IV

Image: various gearsWe've made it to week four. I'm glad you followed me this far. We're in our wind down phase but that doesn't mean the challenges are less important. You still have concerns. The stockroom just isn't as organized as you'd like.

Last week, I mentioned I'd stay with inventory issues with the final week focusing more on purchasing. If I may be allowed a slight reach into next week for a portion of today's blog, I'll make it worthwhile. In fact, when I reach the solution to the scenarios, I ask that you view it from a different angle. Don't worry, I won't lead you astray. Stick with me, and you'll see what I mean.

Scenario 1 - home

A. Over the years, your workshop at home has been accumulating a lot of materials. Parts, tools, supplies. Your spouse is concerned because the budget is not limitless and wants to know how much you've spent over a certain time period. Do you need to cut back on the buying? Who knows how much you've spent?

B. You're a DIY guy, but one of the problems you have is that some of the jobs around the house tend to use a lot of parts. You're constantly having to buy more. Yet, you have spare parts left over you aren't using. You bought them knowing you needed them, but some equipment isn't breaking down as much. While that's a good thing, other equipment is going through parts like crazy. How many spares do you keep for those unexpected breakdowns?

C. A buddy offers to help. You've given him a list of jobs and necessary parts. Later, you discover he used other parts without notifying you. Now, you're suck with items that didn't get used and out of stock on items you planned to use later.

Scenario 2 - office

Once again, take these home examples and transfer them to your workplace. Have you looked at the cost of your inventory? Preventive maintenance and repairs require expenditures, but are you buying what's needed…or just buying?

Spare parts problem? How many do you need? Review last week's discussion about having items sitting stock for long periods of time.

What about that worker who substitutes parts, even though you've provided a bill of materials? What happens to QOH?


A spreadsheet to add up receipts for those home purchases might work well for you. You'd have a running total throughout the year. Depending on how you organize it, you could have a nice overview of what you have and what it costs.

A spreadsheet might also work on how many spares you need. In this case, with a little experience and time, you'll know how much to keep in stock.

A spreadsheet is a good first step for home usage. Keep in mind that it is limited in its capabilities (as mentioned in Part I).

As for your friend, sit him down and calmly explain that he needs to follow the list. If he uses other items, he should inform you. Otherwise, no pizza as a reward for his generosity.

At your company, a spreadsheet just doesn't come up to par. However, a CMMS helps with all three of these problems.

A. Okay, this is where we reach into next week's topic of purchasing. If you used a CMMS for purchase orders and invoice reconciliation, you'd have a record of both. Tailor and generate a report that shows you the cost of inventory purchased over a specified span of time.

Is management wanting that cost information for the ERP? Your CMMS should be able to integrate with that system to transfer data. Talk to your CMMS vendor for details.

B. one of the ways you'll know what to keep on hand was also discussed last week in which you have a report of when certain parts were last used. Those extra spares need to be monitored.

Another way that will help your costs and maintenance life so as to better keep inventory under control is through a regular reading of equipment meter and gauges. These readings could be part of your PM cycles. Input the information and the CMMS keeps a history. It's a great way to keep tabs on equipment health.

C. What do you do with a worker who uses different parts than what was listed? Don't make it difficult. It's not. In fact, the answer was provided way back in Part II. Remember that issue/return process? When the worker needs other parts, he returns the unused items collected, then make another issue ticket for the required items. Doing this ensures that correct quantities are maintained. (You can then consider the pizza reward after a completed job.)

These examples are what might be encountered after you 'go live' with your CMMS. All that means is after the training, you're putting the system to work in your facility. Start using it on a daily basis and see the results.

Will you have questions about functions and features not working like you thought? Probably. Don't worry. If you've purchased a CMMS from a quality vendor, that company should provide expert support.

When you call 800-223-4791, you'll reach a Mapcon Technologies support person in Johnston, Iowa, ready to assist with your questions.

All right, dear readers, we're coming down the home stretch of this exciting series. Next week, I'll still discuss some stockroom challenges (five more) but from a perspective of purchasing. See you in seven days!


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; maintenance; stockroom; challenges — Stephen Brayton on June 08, 2022