Tuesday, September 17, 2013


to its organization and conduct, also, we may define a very
few prominent features which appear to advantage in some
of the most advanced systems now in successful operation.

The first of these is the standardized listing of all standard
stores, establishing standard nomenclature for every item.
The use of symbols may be advisable, and in some cases
dimensional figures and sketches in the standard lists may be

The second is the systematic and accessible arrangement of
all stores — heavy stock, on the ground or on floors, lighter
parts in bins or on shelving. Every section or item should
be identified by a descriptive card or tag, properly displayed.
It is not essential that all material should be in one central
storehouse. It may be of great advantage to have heavy
stores, especially, delivered and stored near to the point of
use, and to have sub-stores where they will save the time of
long journeys to and fro with requisitions and deliveries of
stores to fill them. All the lighter and more valuable pieces,
however, should be actually and physically contained in a
store-room, and it is highly advantageous, when possible, to
have a standard arrangement so that all sub-stores repeat
the features of the main storehouse. All stores and stock
should be under the charge of a storekeeper and every is-
sue should be only upon regular requisition from proper
and responsible authority.

Third. Careful and immediate record should be made
of every withdrawal from stores and of every addition to
every item, either in stock books or other permanent forms
of record, or on the cards attached to the bins, or both, and
the stock books may advantageously follow the classification
system and arrangement of the stock bins.

Fourth. Carefully determined high and low limits
should be fixed for every item kept in stock. Their size
and range must depend, of course, on the rate at which each
item is used and the length of time necessary to get a new
supply. Provision should then be made to have a replace-
ment order put in whenever any item falls to the minimum,
so that a new supply may be bought or manufactured.
Generally speaking, when an item has fallen to a minimum,
a replacement order for the maximum quantity or a large
percentage of it is put in, the minimum being fixed at such
a point that it will last until the new lot is received, allow-
ing a reasonable margin of safety for contingencies.

It IS evident that special knowledge and talent, and skilled
knowledge and discretion, are necessary in standardizing the
elements of stores, in designing the arrangement of the
stores rooms, and in determining maximum and minimum
limits; but after that the routine becomes mechanical, and
the ordinary functions of operating the system are merely
clerical. In other words, we have here the same idea that
has already been alluded to in connection with mechanical
manufacture — the skill of the exceptional genius is perma-
nently built into the machine or system, and the routine of
the repetitive movements of that machine or system can be
supervised by the cheaper intelligence and the lower-priced
labor of the machine tender, or clerk, without fear of any
deterioration in the quality of the product.

The actual movement of material — that is, shop trans-
portation — is of course an expense account, and we met
it when we were considering the distribution of expense ; the
discussion of the physical means for accomplishing such work
belongs to the study of manufacturing-plant design and shop
transportation rather than to this examination of the ele-
ments of management. The transportation of material, how-
ever, is so intimately associated with storeskeeping that it
should be noted here that very important influences on
economy may be exerted by the arrangement and the ap-
pliances adopted. In general, economy is favored by
orderly progress of material in one direction through the
works, the transportation lines of the various pieces or parts
from the stores department, through the manufacturing
operations, gradually drawing together in the order of as-
sembly. This ideal, however, becomes more and more
difficult to realize practically as our finished product be-
comes more and more complicated, and in many cases only
an approximation to the ideal can be secured.^ 

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