The industrial electrical storeroom is a demanding environment where there is always competition for time and never enough of it to “get to it all”. So much is changing, so many different types of projects from the usual repair and replacement work to small projects and the occasional critical repair. Plus, the continual stream of requests for help. It sometimes seems like the storeroom is everyone’s ‘help desk’.
Like most anything else, storerooms require maintenance and they get messy over time. So, whether you don’t have time to look, or are just scared to, there is usually something hiding in there. (And we mean something you don’t want in there.) It’s just a matter of finding the time to get started.
Smoke signals in the industrial storeroom
There are telltale signs left by vendors who don’t know electrical products, but enjoy selling them. Redundant products are a big giveaway.
- We have found cases where 18 fuse types could be consolidated into four. With no loss of coverage.
- One industrial storeroom had 11 different sizes of wire ties in stock. Eleven.
- Small issues can add up to big ones over time, consuming valuable storage space and increasing costs.
And there are larger, sometimes costlier and even more difficult issues.
- Older short circuit protection devices can reveal opportunities for increased safety.
- Motors that have sat in storage for so long no one knows whether they are operable, and there’s no documentation.
- Critical spares that are approaching end of life, still sitting on the shelf, are also an indicator of a potential migration issue somewhere in the plant.
- Lamps collecting on the storeroom shelf provide an opportunity to review plant lighting for energy savings.
An easy way to start an industrial storeroom project
With a bit of planning and some help, you can eliminate most storeroom issues while minimizing the extra work for yourself. So, here are a few tips to go find them.
- First, break a large project into small tasks. Don’t attack the entire storeroom all at once. Identify an area, or category such as fuses, or wiring devices to focus on.
- Second, gather whatever documentation you have. This includes orders, usage data, bin locations – whatever you can put your hands on to give to others who can help you.
- Third, get some experienced help. Find a vendor who understands the relationship of the product on your shelf to your plant applications.
This is a great way to start to produce results with minimal effort and risk. It also give you a chance to witness how a vendor performs in a “test and trial” setting. The vendor should be able to make a quick storeroom assessment and provide you with written recommendations to cover points of organization, consolidation, replenishment and alternatives.
More importantly, the vendor should be able to act with minimal effort on your part. Industrial storerooms are among the most stressful and dynamic environments to manage, so you need a vendor that can lend a hand without adding more work to your day. Work with someone who can handle waste, install shelving, organize bins and document your inventory.
You can learn a lot about storeroom opportunities by visiting our inventory services page. You will find facts, suggestions and best practices to consider.
You can call us at 800.993.3326, or email us at AskEECO@eeco-net.com