Effective MRO Inventory Management

Mobile technology has changed the way many organizations manage their parts, supplies, and tools inventory.  The old ways of managing inventory are not only prone to inefficiency; they are no longer a truly effective method for supporting maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO). The importance of a well-run storeroom goes without saying, yet this is one of the main issues where managers encounter problems. Despite the fact that most maintenance software products have built in Barcoding functions, which makes inventory management easier and more efficient, the benefits can’t be realized unless these functions are actually used.

What is Barcode Technology?

The ability to read Barcodes is prevalent in nearly any modern mobile device, including Smart Phones and Tablets.  You no longer have to purchase expensive barcode readers that are used only for a specialized purpose.  Any Smart Phone you give your staff can be a barcode reader, eliminating extra costs and providing the ultimate in convenience.  Essentially, there are no longer any reasons not use Barcode Technology to help manage inventory in your facilities.

How do Barcodes Work with Asset Management Software?

Modern asset management software will have barcode technology built in by default, with applications, or Apps, that can be downloaded to manage your inventory. You don’t need an Internet connection to use this type of system, so if your storage area does not have a cell phone signal, this is no problem.

Inventory Apps enable you to quickly and accurately receive inventory, transfer it from one storage location to another, and perform physical inventories periodically to ensure your actual inventory matches what your asset management software says is present.  If you want to track everything in real time, you can scan an item whenever it leaves your store room, tracking who has the material, where it is going to be used, and keep a full consumption history of everything you purchase.  This also makes accounting easier, since there is a seamless data transfer between the different departments.

What are the benefits?

Utilizing barcode technology has a lot of benefits particularly when it comes to inventory management. Below are a few of those benefits:

  • Proper accounting of parts, supplies, and tools
  • Speed in data collation and transfer
  • Reduces the error which comes with manual recording of data
  • Provides detailed records of every facet of each transaction
  • Reduces the incidence of unavailable parts or supplies by keeping detailed records of what is available in the storeroom
  • Automatic transaction histories improve budget management and reordering whenever the stock falls below the minimum stock requirement

Barcoding and Asset Management Software automates a great deal of the inventory management process, but only if the functions are fully utilized. A systematic approach can go a long way to make your storeroom more orderly and less of a problem zone for facility managers and technicians.