inventory parts CMMS system

3 Key Steps to Parts and Inventory Management Across Multiple Locations

Parts and inventory management in one location is a hard enough task. Managing parts and inventory in multiple locations is infinitely more difficult.

If you’re like most companies, it’s a great feeling to add new locations; it’s a sure sign of successful growth.

However, with exuberant feelings also comes the downside – the growing pains associated with setting up new facilities complete with larger amounts of inventory management.

To ensure your company’s successful growth, MCGlobal Solution outlines three key steps to take to make sure all your locations – particularly the new ones – are efficiently managing their parts and equipment operations and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Step 1: Location and Layout of Warehouse and Inventory

As in real estate, it’s all about location.

Many businesses spend vast amounts of money to make sure the location of their storefronts are in highly visible areas to attract customers, but neglect to think about where their warehouses are located.

Warehouse location

Warehouses should be situated in highly accessible locations near main thoroughfares and major highways.

This connectivity not only reduces travel time and fuel but also saves on delivery charges made to and from warehouses.

Eg, opting for a location that is already on a main shipping route is a clever move because it will reduce cost and time in package delivery to your customers or affiliated companies.

As well as making sure your warehouse is located in the best possible location, the layout of inventory parts within your stockroom is of paramount importance when planning.

Stockroom layout

Think about the location, overall design and general theme of where parts are situated within your stockroom.

It pays to be consistent.

Even if your company houses stockrooms in multiple locations, parts and components should have basically the same layout and be in the same location as your other stockrooms- if possible and practical.

This will streamline part locating and make it easier for new employees to be trained.

For example, if Stockroom A at the Toowoomba warehouse looks exactly the same as Stockroom B at the Rocklea location, then training new staff or sending existing employees to other stockrooms will make things easier for them; they’ll be totally familiar with the layout and operations. MCGlobal Solutions Consultants can advise on how to standardise your warehouse operations.

Step 2: Streamline Multiple Inventory Locations

One of the best things you can do when expanding to multiple locations is to set processes in place for inventory activity.

Replenishing inventory stock

The first guideline you should establish is how to replenish inventory.

When a particular item becomes low in stock, your process may NOT be to rush out and purchase new items, but instead to look within your maintenance software to check whether your other stockrooms in close proximity have an overstock of this item. If they do, it makes sense to pull inventory from this stockroom first before purchasing new parts.

Benefits of maintenance software showing inventory across stockrooms

  • This not only saves on purchase costs and shipping but also allows for a Last in First Out replenishment of parts.
  • Having parts sitting on shelves that may be two, there or even five years old could be counter-productive according to inventory best practice.
  • Establishing maximum and minimum stock levels, reorder points and criticality on inventory is another great way to manage multiple locations.

To avoid manually keeping an eye on these levels, it’s a good idea to establish parameters and notifications within the CMMS software letting you know when parts run low, especially critical parts. You can identify parts technicians use on a frequent basis, plus parts they rarely use, so they can easily match parts with the equipment on which they are used.

Mobile scanners and barcodes for inventory stock

Another important key to streamlining your inventory is to make full use of mobile scanners and barcode parts.

The real-time usage of parts and inventory can save your business a lot of time and money. It keeps the company informed about lost inventory and notifies you about shortages of frequently used inventory.

Barcoding and scanning also helps to track parts and ensure correct part ID usage for billing.

Finally, having a great Return Material Authorisation (RMA) process in place will enable your organisation to manage and track returns efficiently.

You’ll also save money on items not used.

Step 3. Streamline Your Operations & Inventory with Maintenance Connection CMMS Integration

MCGlobal Solutions team believes that automation is crucial for any company that wants to streamline operations and inventory at multiple locations.

This automation is given when integrating Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software into a company’s processes.

Organisations are using Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) more and more on a daily basis to manage maintenance needs and to streamline their facilities and inventory needs.

Furthermore, they are turning to CMMS to help manage their operations, with many locations running together and communicating superbly, as it can be integrated with other internal systems.

Learn more about the benefits of inventory and equipment management and CMMS integration

Let MCGlobal Solutions demonstrate what we can do for you with a CMMS system – Book a Demonstration