Standardization and the Process of Standardization...

Standardization and the Process of Standardization There is practically no economic activity nowadays which is not outlined, whether partly or totally, by the process of standardization. The worldwide acceptance of standardization is closely related to the economic globalization and the transformation of regulatory processes at the national, regional, and international levels. Standardization helps in reducing, simplifying, and organizing matters which are apt to become diversified, complicated, and chaotic if left uncontrolled. It is the process of formulating, issuing, and implementing standards. Standardization creates value at many levels. The output of the process of standardization is the creation of standards. The development of standardization as an engineering activity was pioneered in 1793 by Eli Whitney. Standardization of screw threads by Sir Joseph Whitworth dates back to 1841. Other instances of early standardization can be found during the emergence of the railway industry. Mass production became possible only through standardization. By the turn of the 19th century, standardization was already recognized in industrialized countries as a powerful tool to increase productivity through interchangeability and reduction of variety. The early part of the 20th century saw the establishment of several standardization organizations, which turned standardization into an organized and ongoing effort for industrial applications. By 1928, national standards organizations had been established in 16 industrialized countries. After the First World War, standardization, through reduction in variety, was established as a useful management tool for reducing costs. Some three decades later, seller market conditions, which prevailed for some time after the Second World War, put consumer interest under threat. To safeguard this interest and to meet the rising demand for standards for finished products, standardization activities increased in various countries, with the additional support and involvement of government and industry Definitions of standardization The standardization process is often...

Stores Management

Stores Management Store is an important component of material management since it is a place that keeps the materials in a way by which the materials are well accounted for, are maintained safe, and are available at  the time of requirement. Storage is an essential and most vital part of the economic cycle and store management is a specialized function, which can contribute significantly to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the materials function. Literally store refers to the place where materials are kept under custody. Typically a store has a few processes and a space for storage. The main processes (Fig 1) of  store are (i) to receive the incoming materials (receiving), (ii) to keep the materials as long as they are required for use (keeping in custody), and  (iii) to move them out of store for use (issuing). The auxiliary process of store is the stock control also known as inventory control. In a manufacturing organization, this process of receiving, keeping in custody, and issuing forms a cyclic process which runs on a continuous basis. The organizational set up of the store depends upon the requirements of the organization and is to be tailor made to meet the specific needs of the organization. Fig 1 Main processes of a store Store is to follow certain activities which are managed through use of various resources. Store management is concerned with ensuring that all the activities involved in storekeeping and stock control are carried out efficiently and economically by the store personnel. In many cases this also encompasses the recruitment, selection, induction and the training of store personnel, and much more. The basic responsibilities of store are to act as custodian and controlling agent for the materials to be stored, and to provide service to users...

Materials Management

Materials Management Materials are the physical items that are needed for producing goods and services. Materials can be raw materials, components, sub-assemblies, parts, tools, consumables, services, or any other type of item. Materials are one of the main inputs to a process, and typically account for a major portion of the  costs. The significance of materials to the efficient operation of organizations is increasing more than ever. Shortages of raw materials, components, and products have been experienced on a global scale. With demand exceeding supply, the price of many materials has increased significantly. Every organization requires raw materials and other materials for its operation that must be acquired, stored, and handled, and there is always necessity for enough stocks of materials and equipment to be maintained for immediate consumption and for short and long term requirements. These stocks or inventory are cash in kind that need utmost care. Therefore the safe custody, up keep and maintenance, handling and proper supply of the materials are of great importance. Materials management is simply the process by which an organization is supplied with the goods and services which it requires to achieve the objectives of buying, storage and movement of materials. It is concerned with the flow of materials from suppliers to the organizational stores and to the user in the production department. It is related to planning, procuring, storing and providing the appropriate materials of right quality, right quantity at right place in right time so as to coordinate and schedule the production activity in an integrative manner in the organization. It includes activities of purchase of various types of materials, manage and control of their storage, and flow and supply of these materials to various places. The materials planning, purchasing, inventory planning, storage, inventory control,...

Spares Parts Management...

Spares Parts Management  Spare parts are the lifeblood of operational reliability and plant capacity.  No plant can operate at a high level of output without a reliable supply of functional spare parts. Yet, spare parts are also the most overlooked contributor to reliability outcomes.  Many organizations routinely operate without properly implementing even the most fundamental aspects of spare parts management at their sites.  Often these organizations have storerooms with neat shelves and clear labels but this is not enough for highly reliable spare parts management.  Effective spare parts management is essential for making a difference in the operational reliability. Superficially, achieving best practice spare parts inventory management looks simple because spare parts can appear to be just like any other inventory.  But in reality they are different from other inventory types and this is reason why best practice (or even good practice) can be so hard to achieve. In reality, the spare parts management brings together the diverse disciplines of maintenance management, inventory management, storeroom management, supply chain, procurement and logistics. This adds a layer of complexity that is usually not found with other inventory types. It is a paradox to note that the maintenance department always complains of the non availability of the spare parts to meet their requirement and finance department always faces the problem of increasing locked up capital in spare parts inventory. This amply signifies the vital importance of spare parts management in an organization. Spare parts management plays an important role in achieving the desired plant availability at an optimum cost. Steel plants are normally capital intensive, mass production oriented and with sophisticated technology. The downtime for steel plant and its equipment is prohibitively expensive. The unique problems faced by the steel plant management in controlling/managing the spare parts...

Inventory Management and Control...

Inventory Management and Control  In an organization there are stock of finished products, semi finished products, in process materials raw materials, spare parts, operating parts, fuels, and consumables. The collective name of these entire items is inventory. Inventory occupies the most strategic position in the structure of working capital of the organization. It constitutes the largest component of current asset. The turnover of working capital is largely dependent on the turnover of inventory. It is therefore quite natural that inventory which helps in the maximization of profit occupies the most significant place among current assets. The maintenance of inventory means blocking of funds and so it involves the interest and opportunity cost to the organization. The inventory cost is not only interest on stocks but also cost of store building for storage, insurance and obsolesce.   Hence it is necessary that a great emphasis is placed on inventory management and control. The primary objectives of the management and control of inventory are as given below. To minimize the possibility of disruption in the production schedule for want of raw materials, consumables, spares and other stores items. To keep down the capital investment in inventories. To ensure sufficient stock of semi finished products so that there is no disruption in the production schedule. To ensure adequate stock of finished product to meet the delivery requirement of the customer. It is essential to have only the necessary inventories. Excessive inventory is an idle resource which is a matter of concern. The investment in inventories is to be just sufficient and is to be at the optimum level. The major dangers of excessive inventories include the unnecessary tie up of the organizational funds, excessive carrying cost, and the risk of liquidity. The excessive level of inventories consumes the...