Ancillary Areas

  Storeroom organization and operation

As part of the logistic operations, the organization and efficient operation of the storeroom needs an analysis and a previous planning to lay the foundations. In the new facilities our activity centers in analyzing the specific scenario and, in direct contact with people in charge of the operation, to design the best operating conditions.

The job consists, in the first place, in selecting the best materials disposition and the necessary tools. Then, written standard procedures are issued, thereby allowing the future operation in a safe, efficient and effective way. The same path is followed with the facilities that are already operative, taking advantage of the experience of the responsible personnel to do the reengineering.

We also establish key indicators for an effective management. They are aimed at the inventory in itself, at the operations that the store realizes, and at the quality of service to the internal or external client.



  Materials cataloguing and normalizing

One of the major difficulties found in the storeroom is the description of the materials. Typically, when new materials are incorporated in stock, they are not described in a uniform way. They are not catalogued by using masks for each type, which provides a means of standardizing their characteristics. So, duplications are easily produced which promotes building up of unnecessary stocks. The common practice of allowing SKU's opening by different departments, with different criteria and different ways for specifying, contributes to the confusion.

The proposed solution to this serious problem is to facilitate a group of cataloguing and normalizing of materials that must be previously trained. Working on the existing stock, this team must standardize descriptions and take part in a committee including maintenance and purchasing people, where the rationalization is resolved.



  Materials and spare parts stock optimizing

The inventories of materials and spare parts are simultaneously a load for any company and a need to operate. Not only it´s cost of maintenance in stock, financial, and tax costs are burdensome, but it can also lead to reducing the liquidity to such a point that the whole business is inoperable.

But the lack of materials may also stop the operations, either industrials or commercials. So, it is necessary to find an ideal level that, with the least possible expenses, makes the functioning compatible.

We consider materials and spare parts as classified under two big groups for the purpose of modeling their behavior and the following treatment: those for which use is regular, predictable inside certain ranges, and those who have sporadic use, essentially not predictable. The analysis leading to the optimum stock is different for both cases.

For the first one it is necessary to look for the lowest stock compatible with a required service level. It considers the variations in the consumptions (or in sales if it is a trading business), and in the deliveries by the supplier.

The second group has totally different characteristics and treatment, being formed mainly by spare parts. In this case the stock must be interpreted as an insurance policy against the unavailability of the equipment. The only reason for supporting an inventory is exclusively to cover the contingency that the component mounted in the machine fails in accomplishing its function and, under these circumstances, not to have to wait for the delivery of the replacement by the supplier. In the trading business we see this type of behavior in the products of sporadic sale. The concepts of rotation and ideal economic lot lack meaning; on the contrary, the level of inventory is tied to the economic potential loss, to the cost, and to the probability of consumption (or sales), among other factors.

From the previous comments it follows that the inventory analysis must be done for each material. This detailed work, SKU by SKU, is certainly tedious but indispensable if one seeks to have a healthy inventory and cannot, in general be decided by only one person, demanding the conformation of a Group. Only similarities between some materials help in making the analysis.

Our experience is applied in providing the training to give the methodological tools, to organize the task, and to initially facilitate the groups so that they can later work by themselves in an autonomous way.



  Physical inventories

A precise physical inventory needs an organization and previous preparation. A good understanding of the computer system is very important, as a means of extracting the maximum profit with the minimal effort.

We have the experience as to accomplish it adequately. Generally the physical work and the information input to the system are performed by the company personnel who own the materials, though this it is not a necessary condition.



  5S

Its explicit purpose is to obtain clean, safe and friendly environments by means of five steps, which names phonetically expressed in its original language, seem to begin with the letter "s" of our alphabet.

But that is not all, nor is it the most important objective. The idea is to get people used to working as a team, participating in the discussions and being autonomous. When 5S is developed with this idea in mind, it easies the way to apply modern management techniques as described elsewhere in this site.

To obtain a successful implanting it is necessary to previously have some training sessions, aimed at not only the cognitive plane but also at the volitional one, in addition to a consistent support by the highest level of the organization. It is needed to persuade the personnel that its application is beneficial for the whole organization, and then to stimulate the application.

We have been involved in satisfactory applications and we can collaborate in repeating these experiences.



  Training

There are courses for each of the listed activities, such as, for example:

  • Materials and Repairs Stock Optimizing (MRO)