Storeroom Inventory Optimization

The Storeroom Road Map: Final Thoughts

We covered a lot of ground in 2015; here’s a recap:






New Item Set-Up


Defined Space


Order Parts


Physical Organization









Growing Your Efficient Storeroom: From Intermediate to Advanced Part II


From Intermediate to Advanced

Here we are, at the completion of the Storeroom Roadmap.  This month we’ll finish discussing those practices (yellow blocks) that make our storeroom efficient at an advanced level.  As a preview to next month’s blog, our last in this year long series, I’ll provide some final thoughts and suggestions to round out our study and understanding of the journey we’ve taken.

The practices that comprise the last element of our efforts really do seem to belong in the advanced stages of a very mature organization.  It’s in this very section of the map that we hone our fiscal sense and come to understand and provide tools to meet the budgetary constraints through the monthly budget and the measure of stores issues vs. budget.

As a very planned and programmed practice to exercise in our fiscal efforts, strategic sourcing and VMI/Consignment are necessary at this advanced level of execution.

And finally, the technical library will be discussed, in a way that hopefully conveys its importance well beyond a repository for information.


Figure 1:  Advanced-Efficient


Growing Your Efficient Storeroom: From Intermediate to Advanced

It’s time to move into the last section of the Storeroom Roadmap.  We’ve spent the first nine months of this year building our processes and practices to move from effective to efficient, working the entire time to develop a world class operation.  Finally, we’ve arrived at the last turn on our journey.

This month we’ll discuss the two processes (in blue) that are part of the Advanced-Efficient stage of a storeroom.  The work we’ve accomplished up to this point was  meant to increase the storeroom’s service, and make using it  more convenient.  As in Operations or Maintenance, problems will arise from time to time,, and must be identified and eliminated through Root Cause Analysis (RCA)   Also, this month, in an effort to sharpen the convenient service of the storeroom, we’ll discuss  the delivery of MRO spare parts. 

Figure 1:  Advanced-Efficient 

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) isn’t solely a storeroom tool, nor is it only meant to provide an understanding of just total failures.  Root Cause Analysis is meant to be used when anything is trending unfavorably, or when any unfavorable situation has occurred.

Growing Your Efficient Storeroom: From foundational to intermediate: Part IV


Last month, we spent time discussing the Tactical Processes, those items identified in blue blocks:

·        Parts Standardization
·        BOMs
·        Requisition of Material
·        Receiving Purchased Items from Stores
·        Obsolescence
·        Repair or Replace

To round out the Intermediate – Efficient storeroom discussion, this month we are going to review the Last Used Report, and the Optimize Physical Layout idea.  These blocks are grey and salmon colored, respectively.


Intermediate Efficient

Figure 1:  Intermediate-Efficient 

The Last Used Report is identified on this road map as a Key Performance Indicator.  It’s a listing of the components in the storeroom that have exceeded some criteria for issue frequency.  It is often this report that is the first and only evidence that the storeroom has, to indicate a part, or parts, are potential candidates for obsolescence.

It’s recommended that components are evaluated quarterly to determine if they are candidates for obsolescence.  This audit is commissioned by the Stores Stock Committee and many plant agencies own various aspects of this study.

Growing Your Efficient Storeroom

From foundational to intermediate

By far, the largest of the six divisions of a world class storeroom is the Intermediate-Efficient section.  Within this section, we begin to sharpen our processes and practices and create the activities that really enhance our entire storeroom operation.


Due to the enormity of the Intermediate-Efficient section, we are going to divide it up into 4 blogs for discussion.


Controlling Maintenance MRO Inventory Materials and Spares

Companies can realize significant savings by controlling inventories of maintenance materials.  Two points should be understood by all persons involved with developing and instituting a maintenance MRO inventory control system:

  1. Inventory control does not necessarily mean that inventories should be kept at a minimum and or current dollars in inventory is too high.  The lowest possible inventory is often not the best or least costly in terms of total cost.
  2. Although the relative important of various inventory control objectives may change with changes in business conditions, the need for effective control of maintenance inventory is constant.

Maintenance inventory control is best approached by working out the answers to these questions: 

  • What items need to be ordered? 
  • When should an item be ordered? 
  • How many items should be ordered? 
  • From whom should it be ordered? 

These questions can be answered if specific information on each item stocked is available, and various terms concerning inventory control are understood. Formulas can be used to determine the appropriate order quantity if specific information about an item is known.