Five tips for organizing a spare parts warehouse
Are you looking for warehouse management best practices and recommendations to make the most of your auto parts inventory? These five ideas inspire you to reduce shortages and keep your inventory moving.
1. Watch your inventory as a good parent: Know where the parts go
Understanding where each item belongs can help you not only find the right things but to do so quickly. When auto parts stay in a space that isn’t theirs, it’s hard to find the right home.
Here are a some few things you can do to make sure your inventory isn’t lost or misplaced:
- An excellent way to organize a spare parts warehouse is by several parts, with the most common elements on top.
- Let your employees know what inventory is in the warehouse by making it visible – virtually in the room, almost in your database.
- Create a system for knowing where the part is – hanging from the ceiling, for example, or a label with a date.
- Keep a calendar of all future purchase orders with due dates and a list of the all known suppliers with the contact information to avoid running out of necessary items.
- Do not throw away unused parts – they may not be needed now, but who knows what will happen in the future. Instead, treat your inventory like a bank of resources that you can use to get you back in action when the situation changes.
2. Set up a central storage area: standardization and label
Assembling and storing your parts is a big project, but it’s essential to break it down into smaller tasks and do it step by step.
- Step 1: Review the current storage capacity and how often old partitions are stored in random places and forgotten.
- Step 2: If necessary, find new space to store it, and measure it by the number of shelves and boxes you need. This could be a garage, shed, basement, or a room in the building of your car repair shop.
- Step 3: Gather all the parts you have. Put them on shelves or in boxes, and be sure to leave enough room for new products. You’ll need to keep commonly used items in one place, so you can find and access them easily.
- Step 4: Sort your inventory by function and manufacturer. For example, separate those for cars, boats, and motorcycles.
- Step 5: Allocate space for each job. For example, you may want to dedicate a section to your heaviest, lightest pieces and the different wires and fasteners.
- Step 6: Determine what spare parts you have and what can go wrong with them. This way, you can find a right tools to fix the problems.
- Step 7: Label your goods and containers to ensure you don’t have to rummage through a pile of boxes for the needed parts. To speed up an process, use a label maker. For example, you can create and print label templates to organize your spare parts inventory.
3. Keep the records of your parts: use technology, not pen and paper
It’s crucial to keep up-to-date inventory records so that you always have what you need when you need it. But managing warehouse operations manually will be almost impossible, so don’t waste your precious time and resources.
To increase the employee efficiency and simplify your warehouse operations, consider implementing a parts management software solution to handle repetitive tasks such as postings, transfers, and write-offs. In addition, ensure you have the proper inventory control, scanning technology, and multi-location management system to expand your business.
In a CRM application for auto repair shops, you can manage every area of your business – from customers, work orders, and sales to warehouses and inventory.
4. Store your parts properly: Clean and maintain storage space
If your warehouse is crowded, it will be difficult for your employees to work efficiently. Warehouse chaos can lead to confusion and out-of-stocks of the most popular products. The more clutter your warehouse has, the more time you will spend cleaning it up and organizing infrastructures, such as shelves and tools. Stockpiling parts inventory is never cheap, so the best course of action is not to have a lot of the stuff in there in the first place.
Let’s take a look at the practices you can do to avoid clutter:
- First, clean the storage area and replace tags and labels regularly.
- Next, remove any piece that is no longer in use. Be sure to keep any clues in case you need them in the future.
- Next, keep things organized in their respective categories, such as nuts, bolts, valves, and gaskets.
- Protect spare parts by keeping them organized and in a dry area to prevent wear.
- Finally, make sure to avoid storing it as often as it will be exposed to sunlight.
5. Find what’s missing: Regularly check your spare parts inventory
Making inventory adjustments regularly is a great way to ensure that your inventory isn’t a mess and that you don’t waste time and space storing unnecessary parts. You can take inventory of everything you have and create a list that coordinates the part number, quantity, and location for each item to determine which merchandise is in stock.