Stores ........where materials are managed

Store Management , Stores Management

The very essence of Materials Management gathers its relevance from Stores , a place that keeps the materials in a way that the materials are well accounted for and are maintained safe.


A typical Stores has
a process and a space within, to receive the incoming materials (Receiving Bay), keep them for as long as they are 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.

Well-designed systems provide flexibility to absorb the shock demand variation, and enable purchasing to plan ahead, practice forward buying, and so forth.

Thus ,the terms Stores, Storehouse, or warehouse all of them refer to a building or room or place where materials are kept.

An organization usually has different types of stores like which it refers by different names on the basis of material nature such as:
  • Raw Materials Store

  • Processed or Semi-Finishing Materials Store

  • Finished Goods Store

  • Yard Store

Such stores range from ordinary ones with shelves and bins to cold or dehumidified storage’s, huge silos for storage of food grains or bonded stores for keeping goods on which customs and excise duties have not been paid. Storage is an essential and most vital part of the economic cycle and Storage Management is a specialized function, which can contribute significantly to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the materials function.

Different types of Stores on the basis of storage nature are :

A) Closed stores – Closed systems are utilized when close control and accounting for inventories are desirable. In such cases, storage area are kept locked and entry is limited to stores employees, or to others only on an authorized basis. Goods enter inventory through a formal receiving process and leave through an authorized requisition or bill of materials. Closed systems typically include industrial or business stores operations, and involve repair  parts, consumables, tools, and materials or components for assembly where ongoing control and accuracy is essential.

B) Open stores – There are instances where the cost of closely controlling inventories outweighs expected losses in an uncontrolled environment. In such cases, inventory storage areas may be left open or kept close to the point of use for efficient user access.

Such inventories are available for use as needed, with emphasis on expediting production, or operations rather than on security.

C) Random access
– In random access systems, goods are stored without regard for commodity groupings. Instead, goods are stored in the next or nearest available space of suitable size. However, it is good planning to select from available storage spaces with consideration for the anticipated frequency of issue. Locating items in random access  storage usually requires a computerized system. Random access  systems tend to be used in conjunction with a closed stores system.

D) Automated warehouse – A large


variety of automatic storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) are being used today. ASRS systems have the capability of bringing goods from storage or placing goods into storage upon computer entry of the item identification and/or storage location. Such systems may range in size from small rooms to whole warehouses, and may handle items ranging form small parts in tote pans to large materials on pallets.

E) Contractor operated system, or integrated supplier systems – Where business volume is sufficiently large, suppliers may operate a firm's supply or inventory storage facility using supplier personnel, under contract with the using organization. Depending on the agreement, a contractor may either acquire on-site inventories or just manage them.

In some cases, supply contractors have branches built next door to industrial plants, for the sole purpose of supplying all needs of the plant. In some cases, the two facilities are separated by a common wall and supplies are issued through an opening in the wall. This is an emerging trend for MRO and office supply goods.

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Read on ...more Stores topics

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


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