Stock management and inventory control

Stock management and inventory control are they the same thing?

Business terminology can depend on where you are located in the world, but generally speaking, “inventory” is more an American term, while “stock” is more for the British. Either way, both terms are describing quantities of items existing in one or more locations.

Stock management and inventory control, both terms are describing the control and management of quantities of items such as MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operating) items, consumables and spare parts for machinery. Stock management and inventory control are terms used interchangeably in business accounting and product monitoring. In fact, the term “stock inventory control” is the proper term.

What is the difference between asset tracking and stock management?

Both stock management and asset tracking are solutions focused on optimising your organisation’s resources and the assets utilised.

Asset tracking and management systems reduce asset auditing times and improves asset utilisation, tracking the movement and ownership of assets. Repair costs and maintenance schedules are monitored so you get the most out of your valuable assets. Producing substantial savings from reactive maintenance costs, unnecessary equipment losses, and subsequent duplicate purchases.

Types of physical assets

  • IT assets
  • Tools and equipment
  • Machines
  • Vehicles
  • Documents
  • Fixtures and fittings
  • Furniture
  • Property, plant and equipment

Stock management systems manage the goods you consume and their replenishment. Unlike your assets, stock items are constantly being depleted and re-stocked or replenished. A stock management system therefore assists in monitoring inventory, parts and stock levels, alerting you when available item levels drop. stock management systems (also called stock control) track consumables, replenishes stock, and locates items.

Types of stock and inventory

  • Raw materials
  • Finished goods
  • Office consumables
  • Spare parts for machinery and equipment
  • MRO goods

What is inventory and stock control?

What are the four types?

Generally, stock/inventory types can be grouped into four classifications or types; raw material, work-in-process, finished goods, and MRO items. MRO items include consumables and spare parts, laboratory items, office supplies, industrial equipment (such as compressors, pumps, and valves), plant upkeep supplies (such as gaskets, lubricants, and repair tools).

Why control MRO items?

Many people don’t fully appreciate the vital role MRO items play in keeping your business running smoothly.  Failure to routinely maintain, repair, and overhaul assets can cripple a business. Contrarily: businesses that diligently maintain MRO items and inventory, can optimise supply chains and assists the business to run smoothly and economically.

Hardcat for HVAC maintenance, inventory and control

How does stock management save money?

While stock management regulates an item’s quantity and tracks location, the cost savings are derived from forecasting.  Stock management systems determine when to order goods, how much to order and the most effective source of supply. Stock management software offers the framework to optimise the tracking of “how, when and what quantity of stock/inventory is used and for what purposes”.

You can analyse where the stock is consumed and maintain optimum levels. This is important in relation to spare parts and actioning on repairs in a timely manner.

Proven stock identification and stock level alerts

Through use of the image upload feature, we are now easily able to identify and locate the relevant spare parts we keep on hand when we need them. We now have the ability to set up alerts when minimum inventory thresholds are breached. When the inventory of spares of a particular part held in stock drops below a certain number, we are automatically notified.

We then use this function to generate a weekly inventory re-order report to assist in placing orders and maintaining our stock of parts at a serviceable level.

In addition, we are also now able to better analyse our usage of spare parts by creating customised reports from the data to highlight the most frequently used spare parts and strategically adjust our maximum and minimum levels for the part accordingly.

The Hardcat stock module has significantly improved our processes for storing and managing our spare parts, effectively increasing our productivity within the department.

Hardcat’s stock module transforms Royal Melbourne Hospital’s management of critical medical equipment

Hardcat IT cables inventory and stock

Unscheduled equipment downtime is costly for any business!

  • Ensure you’re not overstocking or understocking
  • Report on audit trail of stock usage
  • Automatic re-order of stock based upon usage and minimum levels
  • Ensure critical spare parts are available in the event of a breakdown
  • Minimise wastage, underutilisation and theft
  • Optimise stock quantities “on-hand” and purchase at the optimum price
  • Stock/inventory and asset management integrated into one system
  • An accurate record of what was “on-hand” for insurance claims
  • Fast issue and/or transfer of items
  • Rapid stock/inventory audits
  • Increased efficiency in stock control via automatic stock reorder
  • A complete history of pricing and/or supplier changes

Maintain goods and supplier information

  • Shelf life
  • Warranty period
  • Restricted Goods
  • Re-order point and standard re-order quantity
  • How stock is consumed
  • The quantity that exists (total) and quantity by location
  • Location of stock
  • Supplier lead time
  • The lowest and highest purchase price
  • The maximum and minimum quantity “on-hand”
  • Supplier and alternative supplier
  • Stock code, product barcode and serial number
  • Brand and model details
  • Product type and stock type

Hardcat stock and inventory management

Track, re-order, move, change and report on consumables and spare parts anywhere, anytime and know the location and quantity “on-hand”. By managing the “how, when and what quantity is used for what purposes”, the operator maintains optimum stock levels (not too high not too low) as well as a complete history of pricing changes and supply chain information.

Hardcat’s stock/inventory management module combined with a range of asset management solutions will supply you with everything you need to optimise your business processes.

Royal Melbourne Hospital case study

Stock management delivers at Victoria’s oldest hospital

RMH stock room after Hardcat – click image for news article

Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) completely transformed the way it procures, manages and stores spare parts used in the maintenance and repair of critical medical equipment used in clinical operations.

Integrating Hardcat’s maintenance and help desk module functionality with inventory/stock management allows us to flag which spare parts are critical to avoid loss of productivity in the event of production equipment breakdown. Read the case study here.

Hardcat modules used by RMH CED

RMH CED selected a range of Hardcat tools to support the upgrade of its asset management processes. This included the core asset register, its preventative maintenance and service desk/help desk modules as well as in-field work order management via handheld devices. RMH has subsequently introduced the stock management module to better manage the spare parts that are kept on hand.

Implementing the stock management module has been the driver of a substantial transformation within our department,” Thiru said. “It has allowed us to better manage the spare parts we keep on hand and to monitor our usage of these parts.

Through the use of the image upload feature, we are now easily able to identify and locate the relevant spare parts we keep on hand when we need them. Lakshmi Thiru, Biomedical engineer RMH’s CED.

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