How To Organise And Improve Your Inventory At A Lower Cost

Inventory and storage is an important part of operations management. Learn how to ensure that everything is in its place when you need it in this article.
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Inventory Storage
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Small changes that make a big difference – Inventory (2)

Welcome to the next in our series of articles on small changes that can make a big difference to your bottom line. Last week we looked at keeping stock levels low, so that your cash is not sitting on the shelf. Here are a couple more ideas on the same theme.

Everything has its place

It is often a low priority but by organising your stock rooms, fridges and freezers you can make an impact on the efficiency of your operation. Ensure that there is a place for everything, and everything has a place. That will make it far easier for you to see if items are running low. You can then order it “just in time” thus eliminating the need to panic-purchase from the wrong supplier at a higher price.

It is also important to keep all storage areas clean and organized. The cleaner and more organised your storage areas are, the easier they are to maintain and find items “on the fly”. If you keep all similar products together in one place and neatly placed on properly labelled shelves, you will save staff time too – if they are spending time hunting for ingredients and other items, they are not spending time putting money in the till.

Take it one step further: some of our customers have created a “planagram” for their storage areas, which they then label. That way checking inventory and carrying out stock-takes will be made much easier. A graphic makes this easier to understand. Take a look at the two grids above. Count how many green squares are in the first grid, now count how many are in the second grid. There is actually the same amount of each colour square in each grid. But see how much easier it is to count them when they are grouped and organised: so avoid multiple storage areas for the same product types. 

It is a good idea to use this example when training new storeroom staff and managers. Next time we offer a couple of tips on weekly and daily routines for your storeroom staff.

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