Objectives of Codification

The objectives of a rationalized Material Coding system are:

1) Bringing all similar items together.
2) To enable putting up of any future item in its proper place.
3) To classify an item according to its characteristics
4) To give a unique code number to each item to avoid duplication and ambiguity.
5) To reveal excessive variety and promote standardization and variety reduction.
6) To establish a common language for the identification of an item.
7) To fix essential parameters for specifying an item.
8) To specify item as per national and international standards
9) To enable computerized data processing and analysis.

A codification system must aim at satisfying as many of the above mentioned objectives as possible and the codes evolved will depend upon the nature of industry, items of stores and the management policy.

Important Codification Systems:

The two important coding systems are the Kodak and the Brisch system.

Kodak System: It is developed by Eastman Kodak Co of N Y USA. It is a system of 10 digits numeric code with 100 major classifications and each class divided into 10 such classes. The classification is based on procurement consideration.

The Brisch Classification: The codes in Brisch Classification are wholly composed of numbers, are of constant length and generally contain six to eight digits. The first digit covers a broad classification of all the materials into 10 main classes and the value ranges from Zero to Nine and indicate the classes concerned. For example, in an engineering organization, the classifications are:

0) Organization and operation
1) Primary materials
2) Brought out commodities
3) Components to user’s own design
4) Sub-assemblies and assemblies
5) Tools and portable equipment
6) Plant and Machinery
7) Building and Utilities
8) Scrap
9) Reserved

Each of these divisions is broken into sub-classes, and each of the sub-classes are divided into finer classes till the final symbolic description of an item is complete.

An Example of a Significant Code:

Hand Tool ——————-10

Punch ———————————–3

Shank Type ————————————05


In the above example, the first two digits denote the major group. The major group can accommodate 100 classifications.

1st and 2nd digits — Major Group

00 — Raw materials
01 – Vacant
02 – Packing Materials
03 – Lab Chemicals
04-05 — Civil Stores
56-49 — General Stores
90- 96 — Spares
97 — Scrap
98 — Stationery
99 — Finished goods
Now 06 – 49 can be classified as:

06 – 13 — Tools
14 – 39 — Hardware and consumables
40 – 49 — Electric item
06 – 13 — Comprises of the following groups:
06 — Cutting tools
08 — Finishing tools
10 — Hand tools
12 — Measuring tools
07, 09, 11, 13 — Vacant groups

3rd Digit: Sub groups of Major Group (for Hand tools)

0 — Hammers
1 – Chisels
2 – Blades
3 – Punches
4 – Wrenches and spanners
5 – Pliers
6 – Screw Drivers
7,8,9 — Vacant sub groups
4th & 5th Digits; Type (for Punches)

00 — Neck Punch
01 – Eyelet Punch
02 – Hand nail Punch
03 – Nail Punch
04 – Strating Punch
05 – Shank Punch
06 – 99 — Vacant
6th, 7th, 8th & 9th Digits denote the dimension of the Punch, 10th digit may be included as a check digit can be many ways. For example, multiply the first digit by 9, the second by 8 and so on and sum the product. Divided the values by 9 the remainder is the check digit which can assume values from 0 – 9.

In the end it must be added that the task of assigning codes to new items must be centralized and consistent, so that uniformity is ensured. —

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  • William H. Geiger

    Anyone requiring assistance in the development of such systems, please contact me.