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May 28

21st Century Inventory Management for Facilities

Does this sound familiar?

You’re auditing your inventory.  You have a printout of what should be on a certain shelf.  Or, you’re running back and forth from the shelf to the database on the computer, and back again.  If you’re really advanced, you have someone at the computer as you yell out the items.  And what’s wrong with this method?  After all, it’s leaps and bounds ahead of the way inventory was managed 50 years ago.

The problem with this method is it lacks in efficiency.  Heck, it’s absolutely archaic.  Is it possible to have everything on hand that you need, without additional clutter?  What would it take to get your inventory up to speed?

The first place to turn is your CMMS.  Every advanced system utilizes the most up-to-date methods of managing employees, maintenance and inventory.  Some systems also integrate convenient mobile technology for your SmartPhone or Tablet to seamlessly allow you to track all inventory movement and consumption, which can save you many hours each week.

Mobile technology is augmented through the use of a web-based CMMS, which accesses the information live via the Internet.  While web-based systems have been around for some time, the recent developments and advances in mobile technologies, such as smart phones and tablets, have provided new and innovative ways for CMMS to work better, faster and with more efficiency.  Through the web-based system, the database can be accessed from any location, as long as there is an Internet connection.  More advanced systems even allow you to work without an internet connection.  In addition, barcodes are being included in many CMMS products.  With barcodes and mobile communications, inventory management is suddenly under control.

Sounds like a lot to take in?  It’s relatively easy; as inventory is entered into the system, a barcode is assigned to the item, which can be used later to instantly pull up the entry in the database.  The database can be accessed through a smart phone, tablet, or laptop—from across the plant, or across the world.  And there’s more; the system can provide you with consumption reports, LEED Consumption Summaries, and even Green Cleaning Consumption for each item.  You’ll quickly be able to see patterns regarding the use and reordering of the item, helping you to make the informed decisions necessary for correct ordering amounts, as well as monthly budgeting.  You’ll have the items you need, when you need them.  And the items that aren’t needed?  You never ordered them.

Inventory management produces its own issues and problems.  But by using a quality CMMS incorporating both mobile and barcode technologies, you’ll quickly be able to manage your inventory.