6 Tips For Organizing A Warehouse Of Spare Parts
Looking for warehouse management best practices and recommendations to make the most of your auto parts inventory? These five ideas will help reduce shortage and keep your stock moving.
Table of Contents
1. Watch Your Inventory Like a Good Parent: Know Where Parts Go
2. Set Up a Central Storage Area: Consolidate and Label
3. Keep Records of Your Parts: Use Technology, Not Pen and Paper
4. Store Your Parts Properly: Clean and Maintain the Storage Space
5. Find What’s Missing: Do a Regular Check of Your Spare Parts Stock
6. Create a Safe Environment: Eliminate Warehouse Safety Risks
It’s no surprise that having a warehouse of vehicle spare parts and accessories at the disposal of an auto repair shop makes offering services and repairing jobs more manageable and much less time-consuming. What may surprise you is how much work and attention it takes to keep your warehouse clean and stocked. Here are five warehouse management tips to help you organize your spare parts and optimize their storage.
Having a great understanding of where each item belongs can help you find the correct ones and do so quickly. When auto parts linger in a space that isn't theirs, finding their appropriate homes is problematic. Here are some warehouse organization tips you can follow to make sure that inventory is not missed or misplaced:
- An excellent way to organize a spare parts warehouse is by piece count, with the most commonly needed parts being in the front.
- Let your employees know what inventory is in a warehouse by having it visible — in physical space and virtually in your database.
- Create a system to know where the part is — hanging from the ceiling, for example, or labeled with a date.
- Maintain a calendar of all future purchase orders with the due dates and a list of all known suppliers with contact information to avoid running out of popular items.
- Don't throw out unused parts — they may not be needed right now, but who knows what will happen. Treat your warehouse inventory like a bank of resources you can use to get you back up and running when the situation changes.
Collecting and storing your spare parts is a big project, but dividing it into smaller tasks and doing them step-by-step is essential.
- Audit your current storage and how often old parts get stashed randomly and forgotten.
- Find a new warehouse space to store them and measure how many shelves and storage containers you need. This can be a garage, a shed, a basement, or a room in your car repair shop building.
- Collect all the parts you have. Put them on shelves, bins, or other storage units, and be sure you leave enough room for new products. You'll want to keep everyday items in one spot, so your warehouse staff can quickly find and access them easily.
- Sort your inventory by function and manufacturer. E.g., separate those for cars, boats, and motorcycles.
- Allocate floor space for each function. You may designate a section for your heaviest pieces, lightest items, and different wires and fasteners.
- Identify what spare parts you have and what can go wrong with them. This way, you can find the right tools to fix the issues.
- Label all types of products and their containers to ensure you don’t have to search boxes for the needed parts. To speed up the process, use a label maker. For instance, in Orderry, you can set up label templates and print them out to organize your spare parts inventory.
Configuration of a print template of labels in Orderry
Warehouse organization idea: Implement a bin location system for more accurate storage of small items. This can be your lifesaver when it comes to consolidating inventory.
Keeping inventory records up-to-date for what you need when needed is crucial. But managing the warehouse operations manually will be nearly impossible, so don’t waste your valuable time and resources.
To simplify your technicians’ and warehouse workers’ lives, consider implementing a part management software solution to handle recurring tasks like receiving processes, transfers, and write-offs. Ensure you’ve got the proper inventory control, scanning technology, and multi-location management system to scale your business.
You can manage every area of your business in Orderry — from customers, work orders, and sales to warehouse organization and inventory.
If your warehouse is cluttered, it’ll be hard for your people to work efficiently. Warehouse chaos can lead to confusion and stock-outs of the most popular products. The more messed up your warehouse gets, the more time you’ll spend cleaning it up and organizing infrastructures, like vertical space and shelving. Storage of parts inventories is never cheap, so the best course of action is to have a manageable amount of stuff in there in the first place.
Let’s look at the practices for maintaining a clean warehouse:
- Tidy up the storage area and replace tags and stickers regularly.
- Remove any piece that is no longer in use. Make sure to keep any manuals in case you’ll need them in the future.
- Keep things organized in their categories, such as nuts and bolts, valves, and gaskets.
- Protect the spare parts by keeping them organized and dry to prevent corrosion.
- Ensure to avoid storing them at a pace where they will be exposed to sunlight.
Regular inventory reconciliations are a great way to ensure your stock is not a mess and you’re not wasting time and space stocking unnecessary parts. You can take stock of everything you have and create a list that coordinates each item's part number, quantity, and location to identify goods available in stock. Once you’ve reconciled and updated your data, you can make wiser decisions about which parts to keep and which to discard or whether to stock your warehouse with more items.
In Orderry, you’ll have four stocktaking methods: with a barcode reader, by importing/exporting a file of goods, using paper sheets, or by uploading a product list.
6. Create a Safe Environment: Eliminate Warehouse Safety Risks
Several measures can be taken to reduce safety hazards in your spare parts warehouse:
- Conduct regular warehouse inspections to identify potential hazards. This includes checking for damaged or faulty equipment and the robustness of pallet racks, ensuring proper storage and labeling of hazardous materials, and addressing warehouse layout or infrastructure issues.
- Implement training programs for employees on safety protocols and procedures. They need to be aware of potential hazards and how to handle them correctly.
- Provide personal protective equipment such as gloves, helmets, and safety goggles to minimize the risk of accidents.
- Perform regular maintenance of equipment to prevent malfunctions that could lead to safety risks.
- Promote a safety culture and encourage employees to report any safety concerns or near-miss incidents to address potential hazards before they result in accidents or injuries.
A well-organized inventory is a necessity for any auto shop. Your garage can complete customer repairs promptly with a proper part management system. Technology, such as a software solution, will help you cut down on time and the number of mistakes you make when stocking your warehouse. As a business owner, invest in a barcode reader and use a labeling system to speed up the picking process and stocktaking.