UK manufacturers ‘overlook’ inventory control

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The efficiency of storerooms and inventory control is often ignored in British manufacturing, according to a report by industrial services company ERIKs in conjunction with The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

The report suggests that although the UK industry is one of the most competent in world, it falls short when it comes to “cluttered” and “seemingly badly managed” storerooms that are “overloaded with inventory”. The report says that this results in unrestrained expenditure on spare parts, and “time wasted sourcing them.”

The report found that:

  • 23 per cent of respondents conducted stock takes annually
  • Only 16 per cent of those surveyed conduct monthly stocktakes
  • 36 per cent stated that it took more than 30 minutes to locate spares in storerooms
  • 13.2 per cent said it took them two or more hours to locate spares
  • 11.4 per cent of those asked had no monitoring to ensure stock is ordered at the most competitive price
  • 32.5 per cent of stock rooms had open access to all production or maintenance employees – which ERIKS described as a “recipe for chaos”


Andy Silver, customer service director, ERIKS UK, said: “Nobody can deny that UK industry is now among the most efficient in the world. However, we are concerned the performance of storerooms, or ‘factory stores’, has not kept pace with advancements in British manufacturing and is seemingly incapable of satisfying the demands of engineering.

ERIKS“This report reveals that there is tension in UK industry between maintenance teams who want to stock spares, storeroom management who want to keep stock levels to a minimum, and accounts who want to minimise capital tied up in stock.”

He said that although there are lots of companies with productive storeroom and inventory management, there is room for improvement for the wider industry:

“it is vitally important that the rest of the industry follows suit and implements measures to ensure factory stores are dynamic and able to constantly assess the needs and requirements of their engineer partners.”

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