Materials storing


After inspection, the purchased materials are taken to store for preservation, if they are meant for stock. Non-stock items are directly taken to the assembly lines from the inspection. Preservation or storage is another aspect of Materials management. With proper management and coordination (particularly with purchasing, receiving, and inspection), storage can contribute to effective operations.

Nature of Stores

Dictionary defines store as a building where goods are kept. Stores is defined as supply of goods and storage is defined as the act of storing the goods. Some people use the term storekeeping which has the same meaning as storage.

In popular usage the term stores is used to cover all aspects of preservation of goods i.e. building, supplies and act of storing.

Stores or storage is the function of receiving, storing and issuing materials. It involves the supervision clearances of incoming supplies, to ensure that they are maintained in good condition, safety and in readiness for use when required, while they are in storage and issuing them against authorized requisitions. In short, it is connected with the physical handling and well-being of the stocks.

It should be mentioned that, stores is not meant for stocking purchased materials alone. Partly-finished goods, finished goods, spares and consumables are also kept in stores. The emphasis here is on the storing of incoming materials.

Efficient storage of stores yields the following benefits:

1. Ready accessibility of major materials permitting efficient service to users.

2. Efficient space utilization and flexibility of arrangement.
3. A reduced need for materials handling equipment.

4. A minimization of materials deterioration and pilferage.

5. Ease of physical counting.


The functions of stores may be listed as follows:

a) To receive raw materials and account for them.

b) To provide adequate and proper storage and preservation to the various items.

c) To meet the demands of the consuming departments by proper issues and account for the consumption.

d) To minimize obsolescence, surplus and scrap through proper codification, preservation and handling.
e) To highlight stock accumulation, discrepancies and abnormal consumption and effect control measures.

f) To ensure good house-keeping so that, material handling, material preservation, stocking, receipt and issue can be done adequately.

g) To assist in verification and provide supporting information for effective action

In some companies, the store-keeping function includes salvaging and retrieval of materials, disposal of scrap and surplus. In smaller companies, the store department may be vested with the additional responsibility of inventory control and even purchasing.

Stores Layout

Stores layout is a fundamental factor in determining the efficient performance of the department. The following factors deserve serious consideration, while planning for the stores layout:

Ø Provisions for easy receipt, storage and disbursement of materials, nearness to point of use.
Ø Minimum handling and transportation of materials, good accessibility for handling equipment and personnel.
Ø Adequate capacity provision for flexibility for future expansion.
Ø Efficient utilization of floor space and height.
Ø Clear identification of materials, quick location of items and ease of physical counting.
Ø Protecting against waste, deterioration, damage and pilferage.
Ø Design the building’s physical appearance to create goodwill and to invite business.
Ø Arrange storage for fast and easy customer order processing.
Ø Use compatible storage or display equipment to create good interior appearances.
Ø Install good lighting to prevent theft, parts damage and errors in stocking.
Ø Plan storage for easy shelf-life rotation to permit first-in-first out control.
Ø Segregate re-manufactured, used and new merchandise.
Ø Include safety as a part of the facility plan.
Ø Maintain periodic house-keeping and re-arrangement plan.

Two aspects of stores layout are significant, viz.

1. Storage system
2. Type of stores layout.

Storage System

Choosing the most suitable storage system means dealing with a number of interacting and often conflicting factors. Inevitably, the degree of mechanization affects layout while the scarcity of space affects the height to which, racking is erected. The need for rapid, intensive order packing means a need for rapid and easy access to stock. But accessibility weights against space economy. A satisfactory storage is, therefore, a compromise between the use of space and the use of time. The way, in which stock is located, helps make the compromise a satisfactory one.

There are three basic ways of locating stock: fixed location, random location and zoned location.

Fixed location means that goods of a particular type have a position in the store assigned to them exclusively. It means that while stock can be found immediately without a complex system for recording its position there can be considerable waste of space, because when stocks of any one item are low, the space left vacant cannot be filled.

The assignment of fixed position to a particular type of goods is made on any one of the following basis:

1. On the basis of supplier.
2. On the basis of similarity of the items.
3. On the basis of the joint issue of the items.
4. On the basis of the size and frequency of use.

Random Location means that items can be stored in any storage position which is available. Space is thus better utilized but, particularly where there are a large number of product lines a record has to be kept of where gods are and frequency of when they entered the storage area.

Zoned location means that, goods of a particular product group are kept in a given area. They may be randomly stored in a zoned location or stored according to fixed locations.