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Running low on materials7/20
Curious how everyone else gets the shop to communicate to the office when they are low on supplies rather than just telling the office when they are out on supplies.
Would love to hear about this.
I would fire the first guy who caused a production halt due to lack of supplies. Keep doing that until the even the slowest of them figures out what is going on.
We use material acquisition lists. We order hardware, chemicals, lumber and sheet goods almost weekly. When something is low it is written on a publicly hanging acquisition list. When the office is ordering for that week, they grab the lists.
As Tim's proxy, Kanban cards.
We use Kanban cards as well.
When we set them up it took a little while to work out the bugs such as making the information on the cards correctly, where to turn them in, who is responsible for the reordering, getting them put back in with the new stock when delivered, changing re-order levels, etc. Just all of the usual things of putting a new written system in to replace a "everybody knows what to do" system.
Now we don't run out of items anymore. It was rocky at first but now it works great.
Materials management is worth paying attention to. Materials nominally run maybe 25% of the project. The real cost of material is all the money you spend getting the product into the cabinet.
The time you spend staring at a vendor catalog to see what they call a particular hinge this time you is located in your chart of accounts under the stupid category.
Easter egg hunts are something you do once a year with your grandkids. Should not be part of the portion of your day you allocate to generating revenue.
It's one thing to know where things are and quite another thing to walk across the shop to get them. You would never willingly store a spatula in your bathroom. Not on a bet would you do this. Why then would you willingly walk 20 feet to get to sand paper for your palm sander?
It really doesn't matter where your costs live. They all subtract dollars from exactly the same bucket.
Weekly we hand out what we call inventory sheets. Most people have material they are responsible for. All sheets are turned in regardless of need. Simple and works well.
On the hardware and sundries foreman has stock of a days worth on shelves in his office. Daily inventory done @ $50k payroll a month, we do not run out, period.
About a million years ago there was a really smart guy on this forum named Keith Hill. He was one of the original brains behind the creation of the True32 system.
Keith recommended building your own crates for screw storage. The optimum box had a false bottom that could hold enough screws to get you you out of a jam if you ever came up short.
Keith also advocated for printing out all the salient data needed to order screws then laminating this onto orange construction paper. The laminated sheet would then live near the bottom of the box. As soon as you could actually start to see orange color you knew it was time for re-order. The laminated orange sheets would then serve as a kanban signal for the ordering department.
The nice thing about this system was that it was highly visual and had very low administrative costs.
We use a product called Quick Screw. It has low root thread and you cannot snap them. They are priced right and come in every diameter & length.
Several years ago we came up short on these in 1 1/4 inch length. They are manufactured in China and the particular factory (or village) that made these was supposedly subject to mandated electricity curtailment.
Geopolitics will get you every time.