Generally, alphabets numbers or combination of alphabets and numbers are used as the codes. In numerical codes, the 3 to 4 elements of numbers, the binary code with 1 and 0 element or the decimal codes are used. In the alphabetic codes twenty –six alphabets are used as elements. The alphabets are used as pure alphabetic symbol or as mnemonic code which serves as an aid to memory e.g. BS for Brass screw. It is also possible to use both letters and numbers as 2 for general class (rod) and 4 for specific class (round) code elements e.g. BS 24.25 which describes the brass metal rod with 0.25 inch diameter. It is also possible to use the color scheme for the quick identification of materials. Generally color codes are used to distinguish the various grades of metals like steel, brass, copper, bronze. The objective of the codification is quick identification and short description. However, the brevity should not be at the cost of clarity. This is achieved through the construction of the codes on some scientific basis. Generally, code construction is made on any of the following methods:
Mnemonic method: Under the mnemonic method, the alphabets are used as an aid to memory e.g. BS for brass screw. They can be applied effectively only when the stock items are few in number. Its application becomes difficult as the number of items increases.
Random method: Under this method, the numerical and / or alphabetic codes are assigned on random basis. It is flexible, as it is possible to add the new number or letter in sequence in case of addition of new item. However, the codes are constructed arbitrarily rather than on any scientific basis.
Scientific method: Under this method, the codification is done by dividing the total stock items into a number of groups or classes and then to assign a symbol to each class. The class is then divided and sub-divided again until the individual item is identified e.g. first for metal (say 1), Second digit for types of metal (say 3 for aluminium), Third digit for the shape (say 2 round rods) The additional digit with decimal point may describe the size of the metallic item.
Thus coding will be done as under:
11 – Steel
12 – Brass
13 – Aluminium
And 132.75 for aluminium round rods of .75 inch diameter. Generally block system is used to describe the main class and the e.g. 11 to 12 for metals, 21 to 30 for liquid items and so on.
Principles of Efficient layout of the stores:
The following aspects should be considered while administering the layout of the stores:
1) The floor area should be adequate and should suit to the specific characteristics of the materials stored e.g. liquid, inflammable, fragile etc.
2) The floor load must be adequate
3) The gangways should be wide enough to take any stores trolleys and must allow articles to be withdrawn from bins and racks.
4) Weighty items should be stored as low as possible.
5) The items which are used most frequently should be located near the issuing windows.
6) Obstructions such as poles, partitions, staircases etc should be reduced or eliminated
7) The stores racking should not prevent the normal movement of air and temperature distribution.
8) Water proofing must be assured in the stores area. In the production area, a leaking roof is immediately observed while in the stores area, it may be so obscured due to stored materials and that considerable damage might be done before it is discovered.
9) In the vertical stocking, the load should be distributed evenly and should b broken by intervening helves. It should not touch the ceiling height otherwise it will prove a hindrance in case of fire fighting.
10) The stores area should be equipped with the handling equipment such as cranes, lifts, hoists etc and the computing and weighting scales.
11) It must provide safety to the personnel and security to the items stored.
12) A location system should be devised so that it may pinpoint the position of any item stored inside the store room.