Stores Management

 

A professionally managed Stores has a process and a space within, to receive the incoming materials (Receiving Bay), keep them for as long as they are not required for use (Custody) and then to move them out of stores for use (Issue).
In a manufacturing firm this process forms a cycle to maintain and run the activities of Stores.
The basic responsibilities
of stores are to act as custodian and controlling agent for parts, supplies, and materials, and to provide service to users of those goods.
 

 

Typically and at times essentially, a Stores has to follow certain activities that are managed through use of various resources and are thus called Stores Management.

The task of storekeeping relates to safe custody and preservation of the materials stocked, to their receipts, issue and accounting.
The objective is to efficiently and economically provide the right materials at the time when it is required and in the condition in which it is required.


The basic job of the Stores Manager hence is to receive the goods and act as a caretaker of the materials and issue them as and when Production demands it. Needless to say storekeeping activity does not add any value to the product. In fact it only adds to the cost. The organization has to spend money on space ie. expenditure on land, building and roads, equipment, machinery and other facilities provided such as electricity, people i.e. salaries and wages, insurance, maintenance costs, stationary, communication expenses and the cost to maintain the inventory etc. All of these get added to the organisational overheads and finally get reflected in the costing of the finished product. However, it is an essential function in any manufacturing or marketing organization. This basic reason has propelled the evolution of philisophies such as JIT, JIT II etc.

Thus , the basic functions , to manage a stores, carried out are:

  • Receiving of incoming consignments (goods)

  • Safe keeping of goods (Custody)

  • Disposal of undesirable goods

  • Inventory Management

  • House keeping and record maintenance

It all starts with a suitable Lay out design of stores. Depending upon the nature of items used for  processing by the organisation the lay out and type of stores are selected. For example , a process that requires use of raw materials , not costly enough, an open and nearby stores with  truck / rail inside movement possibility can be adequate. Similarly, for storing costly material, a closed and restricted type of stores shall be needed.
However, irrespective of the type and lay out , any Stores would have , as its starting activity , receiving and accounting of the incoming goods. This part of Stores is known as Receiving Bay.

 

Once the material has been received and cleared through inspection and accepted for use, it needs safe custody till it's actually used.
It calls for a separate physical storage space , open or closed, as per need. It maintains all documents that are able to trace an item , show all its details and preserve it up to its shelf life in the manner prescribed or till it is issued for use.

This part of Stores is called Custody. Thus the role of Custody is to receive and preserve the material and then to issue it 

 

to the user,  as and when needed. A stage comes when the material is needed for use. Stores thus releases the material from its custody to the user department and the process is called 'issue of goods. It might also happen that after partial use , some materials having useable value in future are returned to the stores and thus they also become part of the custody again.

In the long drawn process of preserving the materials till its use ,some materials might get obsolete and unserviceable and may require removal from stores , in order to clear space for other incoming goods. This activity is known as Disposal of goods for which auction etc is done.
 

Since the material has a cost , the organisation  would definitely like to incur optimum cost on this account and thus there is a need to manage the materials within a stores such that the total cost of maintaining materials remains optimum.

The materials , lying unused but have future economic value are said to form inventory which needs professional handling. Inventory control / management thus is a vitally important aspect of any stores function. One of the basic functions of stores is to account for every material received in Stores by maintaining proper records of all the incoming, stored and outgoing materials so that proper accounting and audit trail is maintained.
Hence , record keeping is a vital function of stores . Of course , it also goes along the various activities and with development in the information technology domain, the record keeping in stores too is through electronic medium making the whole process smooth and efficient.  

Any Stores as such is a physical entity which deals with material receipt , preservation and issue. Material handling therefore is another vital function.

Just as Lay out of a Stores is designed considering the nature of material Stores has to handle, material movement equipment and implements also are important.

Within a typical manufacturing organisation, its Stores is seen having Forklifts, Over head Cranes, Trolleys etc inside the Stores and trucks, Dumpers and Railway

 

wagons as outside Stores equipment to handle materials.

 

More Stores topics

Receiving
Custody
Inventory Control
Disposal
Stores relationship with other Functions
Advantages of a Centralized Store
Responsibilities of Stores
Store Planning and Layout
 
 

 

 

 

 

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