Stores' Systems and Procedures


Any Stores system starts with planning the need for materials. It is assumed here that the need itself has been forecast with a considerable degree of accuracy. The forecast also must be subjected to periodic review.

The art of storekeeping is largely that of optimizing the use of resources to meet actual needs in an efficient manner. 


Efficiency of Stores function is measured by the number of times the stocks have turned over. That is how much time material spends in the stores.
The lesser time it spends the better it is.

As money is a scarce resource , once it is converted into materials, then only it is useful. This is the essence of stock turnover.

Stores is a very broad word that indicates a wide variety of materials stored such as chemical, metals, liquids, gases, spare parts, equipment, or finished goods,

ranging from engineering components to drugs and pharmaceuticals.

Each of these items will require a specific type of storage and their handling and preservation methods will vary accordingly. There is a high degree of specialization required to store and handle these products and in many cases special storage licenses need to be obtained from the Government, e.g., the storage of petroleum products or explosive products. It is hence mandatory for Stores personnel to understand thoroughly all of these requirements and implications The understanding of these principles is most important in the efficient practice of the art of storekeeping.

The services rendered by Stores can be arranged into four broad activities:

  • To make available a balanced and uninterrupted flow of raw materials, components, tools, equipment and any other material needed to meet operational requirements

  • To provide maintenance materials, spare parts and general stores as requirements
  • To receive and issue finished products
  • To accept and store scrap and other discarded material as they arise
  • To effectively dispose of the unwanted materials

The interesting facet of the whole situation is that Demand comes bundled while supplies unbundled. That is demand is usually from Production which will give Stores a BOM (Bill of Materials) and probably different materials (which come from different suppliers) are required at the same time. While supply comes from different suppliers from different regions which may or may not (in all possibility may not) come at the same time. Hence balancing all these is a considerably demanding job, which is required to be performed by stores personnel.

In the face of a challenging situation faced by stores personnel, one of the main responsibilities for them is to :

  • Properly account for every item received in the stores
  • Preserve the material till its issue from stores and
  • Issue the material when demanded

To have effective control and proper accounting of materials , a professionally managed Stores has the following main functions :


To discharge the functions effectively , a typical stores division consists of several physical structure (building) known as Receiving bays, Custody storage , Quarantine space etc 


More Stores topics

Inventory Control
Stores relationship with other Functions
Advantages of a Centralized Store
Responsibilities of Stores
Store Planning and Layout




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