We all know that keeping the space in your construction storeroom organised is one of those jobs that just needs doing. However, after a few years, many people end up neglecting this because of the sheer work involved in sorting through the hundreds of items you have accumulated. But have you ever asked yourself how much it costs – in terms of time and money – to not keep a close eye on or simply not bother with it?
We can’t physically help you to move your stock around, but we can give you a few tips on how to optimise the space in your construction storeroom and make it more practical and agile so that you can quickly respond to customer requests.
The storeroom costs money, so minimise waste
Managing logistics and overseeing the storeroom wouldn’t be such a hot topic if the storeroom didn’t entail such large costs, particularly in terms of taxes, for all companies. While it’s true that your earnings depend on having goods available to sell, disorganisation leads to waste and waste ends up chipping away at your earnings.
Identify the biggest issues:
Before you start sorting your goods, identify the biggest issues with the current organisation of your storeroom and establish the main factors behind the generation of waste. Consider the following in your thinking:
Storeroom surplus: are you buying too many goods in comparison with demand?
Movement: is it difficult for your staff to get to material in the stockroom and take it back to where they need it?
Faulty products: are you having to deal with a large quantity of fault or damaged goods that you’re unable to sell?
Item rotation: do you know which items sell at high, medium or low rates? And which don’t sell at all? Have you established criteria to categorise items on the basis of their sales rate?
How to reduce waste and generate value
By organising the space in your storeroom, you will take a step towards reducing waste. With the aforementioned questions in mind, let’s see what action you can take.
How many and what range of goods you should keep in your storeroom is a complex, delicate issue. You need to take great care to strike the perfect balance on the basis of your ideal level of service. All companies are different and demand predictions can be wayward if left to instinct.
Therefore, keep a list of the products in your storeroom and make sure it is updated after every sale. This will allow you to gauge the rate of rotation in your storeroom – in other words, how long a particular item stays in the storeroom before being sold.
Take an inventory at fixed, regular intervals. This will allow you to figure out how sales of individual products fluctuate and take decisive action to rejig your storeroom surplus according to trends in demand/sales.
All storerooms must be well-ordered, safe and clean spaces in order for them to be efficient.
Make sure that you map out the storeroom and label areas/sections, storage and walkways in order to ensure that the items in your storeroom are as accessible as possible.
Look at the route you and your staff take to collect goods for delivery. Your path among the shelves and through the various delivery areas should be as linear as possible, so take care to remove any obstacles.
Arrange items according to sales frequency and size, placing the most popular products the closest to your delivery point. Generally, heavier goods and the most in-demand items should be placed on the floor, with lighter, less-popular items positioned on high shelves and in the most distant parts of the stockroom.
Label every shelf and compartment so that you can find goods quickly when requested. It might be a good idea to add a brief description and image of the individual products too.
Keeping faulty goods in your storeroom represents an unnecessary cost, because sooner or later you’re going to need to return them to the supplier or – even worse – throw them away. The less time they stay in your storeroom, the better it is.
Check if the material you receive from suppliers is faulty straight away so that you can send it back immediately, without it even spending one day in the warehouse.
Introduce clear rules around checking goods coming in and overseeing the returns process, including evaluating faulty goods and notifying the supplier of this, corrective action (provisional or definitive resolution of the problem) and preventative action (to avoid repeat occurrences). Keep a close eye on damage that may be sustained by your goods inside the storeroom due to problems relating to movement, positioning or storage. Take care to store materials properly and find out which can be left outside and which must be brought indoors. All of this can help to stop you having the hassle of returning goods to the supplier.
Choose your suppliers, rate them and continuously evaluate their performance, with particular regard to delivery times and the correctness the product or service offered. Supplier reliability is very important, because quick, complete deliveries can help you to prudently manage your storeroom surplus and – most important of all – make all the difference to the service you can offer your own customers, the true source of your income. A strong relationship with your supplier can help you to promote products and services in your store and improve customer loyalty.