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If you’ve ever worked for or ran a company that dealt with parts inventory, it was both a blessing and curse. Supporting your customers with the right part every time is a thrill. It leads to further sales. Counting those same parts, however, reveals problems in the system. The numbers never seem to match. Take control of your inventory by trying these modern approaches to the count. There are solutions to inaccurate supplies.

The Barrier System

One of the simplest ways to control your inventory is by creating a barrier. Allow only a certain employee or group to access the parts. Other parties must ask for the parts to be personally allocated to them. This structure may be strict and old fashioned, but it can make a difference when it comes to lost inventory.

Computerized Control

Think about computerized control of your parts through vendor-managed inventory protocols. You might place aerospace fittings into a stock box. As the items are pulled from the box, the VMI system keeps count. As supplies dwindle, the parts are placed automatically onto the order list. The computer always knows the count, which reduces loss.

Scanning, Not Counting

It takes some time to implement it, but try bar codes or QR codes for your parts. Scanning the parts out of inventory takes the manual effort out of the count. Human mistakes are no longer made, such as reading the number “7” as the number “1.”

Considering the Kit

Many parts come together in small kits, such as a hinge with its corresponding screws. Instead of stocking the hinges and screws separately, create a kit. A small bag holds these items so that they’re always allocated together. This strategy alone reduces loss of those tiny parts.

Allocating the inventory count to an outside service may be practical, but it takes accountability away from the employees. Ideally, ask your employees to count the inventory of their neighboring department. When everyone sees the challenges with the counts, they might be more responsible with the parts. Your inventory will have better control in the end.