A prerequisite for a well-functioning stockroom is good order, not only in shelves and lockers, but also in your system. There are several activities that you can do to get or maintain a good order. It is:
- – Routines
- – Withdrawals
- – Inventory
- – Technical support
- – 5S
The most important part of having a good order is to make sure you have well-functioning routines, i.e. methods of working that’s familiar and easy to follow for everyone. If you don’t have any routines, create a first version of one. Make sure that everyone knows about it, how it works and why. Make sure to maintain and develop the routine.
The withdrawals needs to be taken seriously. If you end up in a situation where items are withdrawn without being registered, you will very soon loose control and order. Therefore, you need to make sure that everyone understands the consequence of not registering a withdrawal.
If you don’t register a withdrawal, no matter which system you use, you will not get a signal for when it’s time to order new items. This will increase the risk of being without critical parts, which might give you a longer downtime than necessary.
A regular inventory should be made to get control of what items you have and where they are. You can make an inventory by going through the whole stockroom at once, or dividing it section by section.
There are a number of tools to support you. I will give you 2 examples:
- Scanners – By using a scanner to scan the information, you get help to set the right information. It can also be time saving to scan the information instead of writing it manually.
- Automated vertical carousel – With an Automated vertical carousel you get better order and optimal use of space. A vertical carousel does not require a large floor, but allows huge storage possibilities. From an order perspective, these are excellent as you can set the carousel to only allow registered withdrawals.
A very powerful, but simple tool that you can use to get, and maintain, a good order. Most of you have heard about it before.
- – SEIRI, sort
- – SEITON, systemize
- – SEISOU, clean
- – SEIKETSU, check
- – SHITSUKE, standardize
By systematically work through these steps you will get a better control of your stockroom, and a tool for maintaining it.