Obsolete storeroom stock is posing a ‘critical risk’ to UK manufacturing productivity, according to one of Europe’s leading industrial services companies.
According to ERIKS UK, the presence of out-of-date, degraded, and obsolete stock is commonplace amongst the UK’s manufacturing industry, with poor storeroom practice blamed for allowing obsolete stock to enter the manufacturing process.
Andy Silver, Customer Services Director at ERIKS UK, comments: “Companies which practice poor storeroom management run the risk of using obsolete stock in their manufacturing processes. This will inevitably impact operational effectiveness, productivity and downtime.
He continued: “One of the worst cases involved a gypsum manufacturer which had obsolete stock totalling more than £28,000 in one of its storerooms. This equipment was posing critical risk to the company’s operations.”
Mr Silver says that it is not just hi-tech equipment which runs the risk of becoming obsolete. “Bearings are a good example of a product which is typically stocked in a site storeroom and which show no visible sign of obsolescence when left over time. However, the lubricating properties of sealed and shielded bearings can deteriorate if left in storage for too long.
“Similarly, larger bearings such as roller bearings, must be stored horizontally with adequate support because if they are stored upright the weight will result in permanent damage. Inevitably, this will shorten their operational life.”
Mr Silver blames poor storeroom practices for the risk posed by obsolete stock. “Poor storeroom organisation is the main culprit with parts easily misplaced or lost until they have gone beyond their operational lifespan. All-too-often simple procedures like barcoding and stocktaking are not being undertaken with maintenance personnel allowed to take out and replace equipment and stock with no real policing or stock management.”
He continues: “My advice to industry is to get a grip on their storerooms and the stock in them.
The top priority must be to implement an efficient, uniform, labelling system. Secondly, an audit system should then be introduced to document the amount of stock in the store, when an item is removed and if it then needs to be replaced.”