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Manual Inventory System - Problem is discipline of the employees

eule del ayre

Involved In Discussions
#1
Good Morning Guys, we're a plastic injection company of automotive and non-automotive parts from the Philippines headed by Japanese.

My problem is the inventory system here in our company, we don't practice bar coding only manual inventory every the end of the month, we can't monitor the discrepancy of the WIP (work in process) products although it is properly arranged according to customer and FIFO the items to be delivered immediately.

The real problem is discipline of the employees who get products and not changing the lot card or status tag attach on the box.
Can anyone suggest their practice about manual inventory or teach me some inventory system in excel that can be monitored real time, i know it sounds silly but we can't afford such thing as software or CCTV for the warehouse. Hope you guys help me a lot.
 

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
How difficult is the "lot card or status tag" attached to the box? There are ways to simplify that like check boxes, or hole punches or stamps or even perforated sections that can be punched out or torn off . . . Also, are there written procedures in which a process step could be included?
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted
#3
Steve's input is right on (as usual), and addresses system and system design.

Next is how to maintain whether or not people follow the system...

We had issues of this nature as well...inventory track is a pain to people working with inventory "Every time I touch this pile I have to do paperwork? Are you kidding?"
We handled it with a few steps:
1. Explain (not demand...explain) how proper track of inventory helps the company grow and maintain profitability, and include how profitability is directly linked to their paychecks.
2. "Because of this, accurate and timely inventory is mandatory with no exceptions. This is considered one of your job requirements."
3. Because we have been having issues in this area, all inventory track will be monitored more frequently than in the past.
4. You know who should be touching each inventory pile each day...check the tags at the end of each day at supervisor level...preferably NOT by the personnel's direct supervisor.
5. discrepancies create individual meetings the next morning.
6. repeat offenders have additional meetings...they are not doing their job, and treat it as such.
7. include proper inventory handling on performance reviews, and these metrics should directly affect raises and continued employment.

Your company needs its employees to make product...if they don't, they're gone.
Your company needs its employees to be accurate with inventory under their care...same response.

Culture change takes time, changes to expectations take time to sink in...the above is not a one week process, more like a year...but if you let people stay employed when they don't do their jobs correctly, things will never change...
Preference is to explain, hold accountable and maintain the expectation of doing the job correctly.
Last resort is discipline...

In my experience, your end of day auditing will reveal that you only have a couple of main offenders...HTH
 

eule del ayre

Involved In Discussions
#4
In my experience, your end of day auditing will reveal that you only have a couple of main offenders...HTH[/QUOTE]

Good Morning sir, as per what you have said, i am not a supervisor yet to supervise these kinds of things. I am just new to this company more like 1 year, an engineer (Chemical) to handle these things where i am not capable yet for these are new to me and not my kinda thing. But as my stay here in our company sir, you're right, it's the nature of human being to procrastinate things and not doing their job properly, i'm not playing it safe but it's the ugly truth. Just scared of the management for being new and tell what's the trend in our company, so i just give it a shot for making a study in our inventory system and making an inventory system in excel.
by the way thank you for the inputs, i'll make sure to include it in our countermeasure/preventive measures to assure tallied inventories from the theoretical to the actual count.
Thank you very much
 

eule del ayre

Involved In Discussions
#5
How difficult is the "lot card or status tag" attached to the box? There are ways to simplify that like check boxes, or hole punches or stamps or even perforated sections that can be punched out or torn off . . . Also, are there written procedures in which a process step could be included?
That will be my next step sir, i got that in mind, but thank you for sharing also that one, going to improve this manual inventory as soon as possible
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
If your company management knows this and yet do not want to invest in a decent inventory management system, then perhaps your management has some benefits by this, to meet some other purposes not known to you.
So I can see that the problem is not entirely on employee discipline. Be it excel based or any other, where the rights are not defined and controlled, you will end up counting and being surprised every other time.
>>> Just my thoughts...
 

eule del ayre

Involved In Discussions
#7
that's in my mind also, but sir, they tell me about budget wise, they just can't afford an inventory system, so i am working on to an excel Visual Basic inventory system, trying to decipher and make a difference. But what i am thinking right now is that real time data inventory where they can manually input the counted material thru my copied system through different network, i think it's possible but hard to do.
 
Last edited:

smryan

Perspective.
#8
Methods I've seen successful:
  • inexpensive and frequently used items are Point Of Use stocked and area supervisor uses visual que to know when to request restock;
  • more expensive & less frequent items in locked area with limited access; whiteboard by the door to write down what is being taken - easy for the purchaser to see what needs to be restocked.
  • visual inventory cards with counts only for fast visual checks. Crossing off boxes is pretty darn easy, no one should complain about having to do that, and it is easy for someone to visually check and see what is gone.
 

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