Part of the family of items within Materials Management, in terms of Purchasing and Inventory Management, this article will attempt to expose regarding storage systems and storage products for future distribution to buyers as well as a method of evaluating strategic stockpiles stored.

For a better understanding, we recommend reading the following articles.

“Inventory management: its importance, types, classification, evaluation and control”
“Inventory management and its strategic importance”
“Models and strategies for inventory management and replenishment”


Among the elements that form the structure of the logistics system in industrial or commercial enterprises, the store is one of the functions acting on the two stages of material flow, supply and physical distribution, constituting one of the important activities the operation of the company.

The store is a service unit in the organizational and functional structure of a commercial or industrial enterprise with well-defined objectives receipt, custody, control and supply of materials and products.

Within the overall material handling system, storage system provides facilities, equipment, personnel, and necessary for receiving, storing, and shipping raw materials, work in process and finished products techniques.

The store is responsible for keeping the materials, keeping them in good condition for use. There are stores of raw materials, goods in process and finished goods; as well as external warehouses located in other areas, including also stores distribution companies. Warehouse organization must be harmonized with the productive and commercial sector, adapting to their demands
Facilities, equipment and storage techniques vary greatly depending on the nature of the material being handled. To design a storage system and solve relevant problems is necessary to consider the material characteristics such as size, weight, durability, life in compartments, batch size and economic aspects.

costs are incurred storage and retrieval, but no value is added to products. Therefore, investment in storage equipment and materials handling and storage surface must be based on the maximum reduction of unit costs of storage and handling.


Storage includes all necessary to save and keep products from which are manufactured or purchased until they are sold activities. It is necessary to regulate and compensate for supply and demand. It involves the matching of quantities bought and sold.

Storage decisions affect the determination of the number, location, type and characteristics of the stores (own or leased) to meet market demand.

The number, location and size of the stores will depend on the customer service rendered and economies of scale. A small number of large-scale stores provide cost dimensions, but offer a lower operatitividad and flexibility. By contrast, a large number of small stores, but allow greater proximity to customers and a more agile and flexible service, will lead to higher costs storages.

The handling of materials includes determining the procedures and human and material used for the movement of media products.

The packaging is required to protect the product, to prevent breakage, loss, damage, etc. Decisions affecting the choice of packaging systems and protection and conservation materials to use. The packaging may be a promotional element of the product.


There are five basic reasons why a business organization conducts storage:

Reducing costs of transport- production.-

Storage and inventory associated with it are two factors that generate new spending. However, this increased cost is offset by the decrease in transportation and production, since the efficiency of both processes is improved.

Coordination between supply and demanda.-

Companies that have a seasonal production and rationally constant demand usually have coordination problems between demand and supply.

Price products.-

Those goods and products that experience large variations in price from one period to another, may require shopping them in advance, so as to obtain at lower prices, thereby offsetting the cost of storage required for maintenance.

Support process production.-

The storage may be part of the production process. The manufacture of certain products such as cheese, wine or spirits, requires a storage period for maturation. However the stores not only serve to keep the product at this stage of manufacture, but also serve to keep the deposit tax-free merchandise until sale.

Support process comercialización.-

Sometimes storage is used to add value to a product, so that if it is stored near the customer, delivery time, for example decreases. This improvement in the service buyer can produce an increase in sales.

5. SYSTEM FEATURES storage.-

They considered as an element of the logistics system to all types of stores, with store an element which acts on the two stages of material flow, from its origin or source (supply), until delivery of the last user (Distribution), constituting one of the important activities for the operation of the company.

Then the storage system has two primary functions: maintaining inventories (storage) and handling of goods. Handling of goods includes all activities of loading and unloading, and transfer the product to the different areas of the warehouse and the picking area. Meanwhile, the storage is simply the accumulation of goods for a period of time.

The choice of location in the warehouse and storage time depends on the objectives set for it. The storage function is complex and this is why it should be studied analytically. The company needs to examine the problem of storage in two essential aspects:

Which it refers to its structure, which refers to fix its location, its dependencies, and identify the requirements of coordination with the different sectors of the company.
Which regards the organization of its operation, which focuses on setting standards for the practical running of the store.
How to organize or manage the department stores depends on several factors, namely:

the size and the level of organization of the company,
the desired degree of decentralization,
the variety of products manufactured,
the relative flexibility of equipment and manufacturing facilities,
production scheduling.
However, to provide an efficient service, the following features are common to all types of stores:

Receiving Materials
Registration Warehouse inputs and outputs.
Storage materials.
Maintenance and storage of materials.
Office materials.
Coordination with department store inventory control and accounting.

Normally a manufacturing plant or a marketing company must have three areas in the warehouse, as the basis of its structural organization:




The size and distribution of these areas depends on the volume of operations and organization of each company in particular. These can be completely separate and independent of each other or within one location.

1.- Reception Area:

The rapid flow of material entering, so that it is free from any congestion or delays, requires the correct location of the reception area and its optimum utilization.

The conditions that prevent rapid flow are:

Space Maneuver Restricted or inappropriate.
Deficient Media Materials Management.
Delays in Entry Inspection and Documentation.
The space required for the reception area depends on the maximum volume of merchandise is unloaded and the length of their stay in it. The dwell time of goods in the reception area should be as short as possible, as space and cost of operation depends on the fluidity with which these are passed vehicle supplier to the warehouse. Unnecessary impasse raises the cost of the product.

2. Storage Area:

In the storage space required to fulfill the purposes of the warehouse is studied, as this requires performing operations that form the storage cycle, for which it is essential to have enough space where they can act in an organized manner, without inconvenience or tripping.

The study is done to choose a storage area or to distribute an already selected area, it must be done according to three factors:

Entity which will serve.
The space that is available.
The articles in it are to be saved.
To determine in relation to them, the characteristics required.

3. Delivery Area:

The good that has been taken from the storage area and taken to the delivery area must:

Be transferred to the most suitable mechanical means.
It is accompanied by a document output a referral note or invoice.
Be revised in quality and quantity, by collating the goods with the output document.

The warehouse is a specially structured and planned to preserve, protect and control assets fixed or floating assets of the company, before being required for the administration, production or sale of goods or merchandise place.

It is important to emphasize that the stored should have a rapid movement in and out, that is a rapid turnover.

All handling and storage of materials and products is something that raises the cost of the final product without adding value, why should maintain minimum stocks with minimal risk of failure in the supply and at the lowest possible operating cost.

The following principles are basic to all types of warehouse:

The faithful and efficient custody of the materials or products should always be under the responsibility of a single person in each store.
The store personnel should be assigned to specialized functions reception, storage, registration, review, study and helps in inventory control.
First in, first out to prevent items in stock remain long without being delivered, as the arrival of new remezas condemn the old warehouse stocks to continue while the new ones are released.
Reduce distances covered items and staff. This is a way to reduce the costs of labor.
Reduce movements and maneuvers. Whenever a commodity is moved there is a chance to spoil.
Prohibit entry to the area of ​​the store to miss the staff. Only authorized personnel entry is allowed.
Control outputs merchandise storage area through proper documentation.
Keep stock daily.
Eliminate unnecessary paperwork.
Reduce the waste of space, designing the shelf divisions to the extent that is stored.
The area occupied by the halls respect to the entire storage area must represent as low as conditions permit operating percentage.
The main hall must travel throughout the store. Perpendicular to the principal, cross must allow easy access to lockers, racks or separate stacks of articles.
The receiving point should be located at the end of the main hall and the distribution point on the opposite.
There should be one single door, or at least one input and one output (both due control).
Place the items most in demand more affordable doors receipt and delivery to reduce travel and work time.
You have to keep track daily of all inputs and outputs.
It is necessary to inform inventory control and accounting all warehouse movements (inputs and outputs) and programming and production control on stocks.
You must assign an identification to each product and unify it by the common name known and purchasing, inventory control and production.
The identification must be encoded.
Each material or product must be placed according to their classification and identification aisles, shelves, spaces marked for easy location. This same location must be marked in the appropriate registration cards and control.
Physical inventories should be done only pro personnel outside the store.
Any input or output operation requiriere store authorized by existing documentation systems.
The entrance to the store should be prohibited from any person who is not assigned to him, and be restricted to authorized by management or inventory control department staff.
The warehouse should be as flexible as possible in order to make appropriate changes with minimal investment.
Stored materials should be easy to locate.
The warehouse will facilitate control of materials.
If space is very limited or critical for the growth of its operations, one can think of the following:
A better location of storage media: shelves, pallets, etc.
A new shelf design, flexible type, make better use of the space.
Distribution and placement of the goods permitting a space-saving storage system diversified.
A use of cubic space with design between floors or shelving several overlapping levels.
Corridors reduction systems using movable shelves or in blocks.
Elimination of obsolete or foreign storage to store things.

The store can be a manufacturer, distributor, or store consumer products. The stores can be distinguished by:


The stores may be centralized or decentralized. The first case is when the establishment (factory) meets at its headquarters all stores, while the second case is when there are sectors of the warehouse located elsewhere.

As for the internal conformation, stores may consist of only local or a series of separate local or sections communicated. The availability of a unique local forces have gathered all the materials, so its control becomes more difficult, especially if such local is very large and contains columns or shelves that hamper visibility.


From the point of view of the movement of materials we can distinguish warehouses with mechanized transport (fixed, semi-fixed, mobile) higher or lower and stores without mechanization.


Those who may be in the open without any need for protection and for which there is no doubt about its resistance to inclement weather.
Which can be outdoors with the condition that the stay for a short time, and under particular protection systems.
Those who have to be put under cover.

For the sound operation of storage, there are generally local to the following requirements:

Receiving the materials, which can be in turn distributed in local arrival and eventual stay (sometimes even under the responsibility of the supplier), waiting to be registered for accounting and admitted on the premises reception where operations take place unpacking and control (numeric and control)
Wait goods before compliance verification.
Unpacking of products, there are cases where it is appropriate to allocate separate rooms to such a requirement.
Storage itself.

It protects merchandise, custody, control and provides a warehouse may be:

Warehouse Raw Materials and Components Parts: Raw materials are products used to manufacture and found in the warehouse waiting to be employed in the production process. This store’s main function is the timely supply of raw materials or components parts production departments.
Auxiliary materials store: Assistive devices or so-called indirect are those who are not components of a product but are required to pack it, or pack it. We can mention consumables such as lubricants, grease, fuel, etc. Labels, packaging, containers are those containers intended for sale, that is, that will serve to market the product contained therein. The packages are designed to protect the packaged product during handling, storage and transport. Office equipment also can be considered as auxiliary store.
Store Products in Process: The semifinished products are in progress, ie, those who are waiting to be reintegrated into the next phase of a manufacturing process, or manufactured by the company are not intended to sale while not complete its manufacture. If the process materials or semi-finished items are kept in custody and control, intentionally provided by programming, you can tell they are in a store of materials in process.
Finished Products Warehouse: The warehouse of finished products serving the sales department keeping and controlling stocks until ship products to customers.
Goods Warehouse Equipment and Parts. Is the machinery and equipment used by the company to develop its business, as well as pieces dedicated to the replacement of which are deteriorating in the machines in the production process.
Tools Warehouse: A warehouse of tools, molds and equipment in the custody of a specialized control those tools, equipment and supplies provided to the various departments and production operators or maintenance personnel. Include: drills, dies, taps, pieces of emery, etc.
Waste materials store: Products parts or rejected by the quality control department and materials and have no salvage or repair, must have a separate control; this is usually the care department same.
Obsolete Materials Storage: Obsolete materials are those that have been displaced in programming production due to lack of sales, deterioration, decomposition or the limitation period had lapsed. The reason for having a special store for these cases is that obsolete materials should not occupy the spaces available for those who are current consumption.
Warehouse Waste: In the production process waste or surplus remains that either can not draw any benefit (chips) or can be exploited in some way (scrap) are generated.
Store Returns: Here come the customer returns, in separate and classify products for reprocessing, waste and / or store entrance.

There are several problems that can arise from the limited availability of local, or the fact that they are unsound or inadequate to the demands of the company. Namely:

Personal Space and is insuficiente.-

Overfilling can cause local damage to materials and increase the possibility of complaints and returns from customers. It can make it difficult rotation of materials, favoring the accumulation of goods and difficult to overcome sale. Can also be unwelcome attention of orders, it will create difficulties for the sales organization.

Staff is unable for lack of Entrenamiento.-

Often accumulates allowed to work in order to liquidate at any given time; the staffing is available based on these extreme requirements with which all that is achieved is that in times of less work underperforming a situation causing avoidable costs and expenses occur perfectly.

The store is poorly localized or there is a bad RANGE.

Too often must travel paths and paths corridors without obeying any system and are often taking orders picking up memorista way or in the opinion of the operator. So long journeys originate you is useless addition to the need for more learning time to get used to this systematic deficiency.

Poor placement mercancía.-

This makes it difficult to accommodate the rapid location and / or fill the demand. It should properly position the more heavy or bulky goods, and bear in mind the rotation of the goods. During storage, the main factor that is considered is the product rotation. High turnover products are stored near the exit of the modules. Even products with expiration date recently put near the view and the higher maturity behind.

In the store you wait too long time.-

loading and delivery of products ordered are expected for example documents relating to orders and that has to come from the offices, excessive timeouts means of transport.

Storage Equipment Inadecuado.-

Obsolete or in poor condition. The composition of shelves, cabinets, pallets, containers, etc., must be the most suitable for the correct location and accommodation of materials or goods to store

Material Handling Equipment Insufficient or Inadecuado.-

The equipment maintenance is very important, as it avoids excessive costs in the physical distribution of materials, facilitating transport and location.


You need to assess warehouse operations with inventory from time to time to determine if you are losing money on products and materials storage. While this may seem like a daunting task, you can follow some guidelines and create a strategy to find cost-benefit assessment. Divide the process into segments to perform the evaluation of storage systems, namely:


Assesses how well you are using storage space with which accounts. Inefficient storage can cause you occupy storage space that is not necessary and limit orders that you think can not be stored. You may have enough space but you are not wearing well. Shelving, mezzanines and conveyor systems can help make better use of space.


Notes the critical inventory levels. Make sure you’ve set the critical levels of inventory for each product. This level below which you may not be able to meet demand. It establishes an acceptable level of inventory by averaging the amount of products you carry per month and adding a percentage for safety. One of the strategies for the evaluation of warehouse operations should be to assess how inventory levels are maintained.


Evaluates the locations of the selectors, since 70 percent of the time selector can be lost looking for products. Evaluate if you need to locate a significant inventory (rapid movement) near selectors actions so that they can easily access it. It also investigates the operation by the amount of time spent looking for products or walking towards it.


Evaluate if you need barcode technology. If you do not have the bar code technology, discusses how you can help track items in the store. If you have the bar code technology, examines whether your employees are using it well. Bar codes can help you track products, accelerate the recovery process and eliminate paperwork.


Examine your ability to expand storage space. Based on sales forecasts, notes the amount of additional product that can store, if you have to. Evaluates warehouse operations, in terms of their ability to be flexible and provide space for new products or new product sizes.


Analyzes the location of the products. If you have a product stored in several places, assess whether this is the most efficient way to save. It also assesses whether employees know where to find various places for a product. You may want to rearrange the places so that products are not widespread, making reordering and avoid unnecessary delays in orders.


Analyzes packaging suppliers. The way marketers packaged products may affect the operating costs of the warehouse. If you want to send items to customers in their original packaging but your provider has not changed the envelope in original containers, will incur a great expense in preparation for shipping. Also, if your storage procedures require specific platforms with heights, do your salespeople are informed. You may be spending money correcting errors and inconsistencies of suppliers.


Another application of the 444 assessment regarding the use or stockpile products we buy and supply.

the post is recommended reading: “synthesis method for evaluating business criteria”

This assessment requires first choosing the evaluation criteria of the portfolio of products to buy. Then we will proceed to study, selection and definition of four specified criteria to perform an evaluation to classify stockpiles and to define a strategy to make.

These criteria should be the most important with respect to the vision and strategies to develop and commonly used for all products to buy.

If necessary by the complexity of the families of products and / or services they buy could also establish other specific criteria for each family trying to be the smallest possible number.

As more general criteria can consider the following:

PRICE = degree of price increases (CARO-CHEAP) PRODUCTS AND / SERVICES TO BUY
Then, it is represented with a power point slide, criteria and evaluation chart:

Download classification-acopios

You can also use other criteria that sometimes tend to be of interest and replace any of the four main mentioned.

The criteria can be weighted according to their importance regarding the right strategy at the time.

The score is useful for the entire organization of the company as a glance numbers can indicate that treatment should receive the product to buy based on their importance, defining appropriately the strategy to be followed in each case .

You need to prepare a list of products or stockyards to buy in order of priority based on the total score achieved, so that we can deduce the importance for the company from a strategic approach.

So that the different families or groups of supplies will basis for designing different procurement policies with different price levels, delivery times, shortage of providers and the degree of use thereof


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