Stores ….Where materials are managed
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 Store 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.
Types of Stores
Closed stores – Closed systems are utilized when close control and accounting for inventories are In such cases, storage areas 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
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.
Random Stores: – In random access systems, goods are stored without regard for commodity 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
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.
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.