Inventory management can be a challenge for any tool room manager. You have a lot of different tasks and responsibilities to keep track of, so it can be easy to fall behind on your proactive and predictive approach to keeping high-quality tools in stock.
From our precision tool experts to yours, here are some tool inventory management tips that could help.
Hint: one of them is to use a tool inventory management system, like our MPTCrib — which you can check out here, if you’re interested!
5 Tool Inventory Management Tips for Maximum Crib Efficiency
There are many ways to get your tool inventory management practices back on the right track. Here are a few that we’ve found to be most effective and efficient for ourselves and our customers.
1. Organize & Prioritize With Care
As a tool room manager, “close attention to detail” is probably in your job description. Capitalize on your strengths here and take time to get your tools well organized and prioritized, so you always know what you have on hand.
What does this look like? It could involve a few things, such as:
- Categorizing tools — by die, type, style, material, etc. This is a pretty straightforward and common practice.
- Prioritizing tools — What tools does your team use most often? Least often? Are there any that are more critical to have in stock than others? Are there any that you know are typically delivered slower than others?
In terms of prioritization, one method that you could try is ABC grouping. It’s used by many inventory specialists across industries. In its simplest form, it involves three groups:
- A — high-ticket (most expensive) tools that you need fewer of
- B — medium-ticket tools that you need a moderate amount of
- C — low-ticket tools (least expensive) that you need many of
While this method may need to be tweaked a little depending on your specific needs, it could be a great starting point in figuring out what you need, how much you need, and when you need it.
2. Complete Regular Tool Inventory Audits
Manually count your inventory and make sure it matches up with what you have logged electronically. This is a proactive approach that can take a bit of time, but it’s well worth it when it sets you up for long-term success.
Some tool rooms complete audits once per year, some once per month, some quarterly, and some daily. Many will even do some combination of these, like a quick check every day and a more comprehensive analysis every year.
3. Purchase Higher-Quality, Longer-Lasting Tools
One way to help with tool inventory management is to improve your bottom line and reduce the amount of tool wear your team deals with. When you buy higher-quality tools, they’re more likely to last longer. You won’t need to worry about replacing them and keeping them in stock as often as you currently are.
Of course, this isn’t an end-all-be-all solution. Precision tools don’t last forever, and you’ll always have to purchase replacements. But higher-quality tools can make your job a little more manageable.
4. Evaluate Tool Supplier Performance
If your inventory isn’t always stocked, you know better than anyone that the blame doesn’t always fall on you. Sometimes it’s due to a supplier issue.
But if you’re having ongoing issues with a supplier’s lead times, delivery methods, or tool quality, it might be your sign to find a different solution. While no supplier can truly promise fast lead times or 100% on-time delivery rates, there are some options that could provide you with a higher level of customer service so that you’re regularly updated and kept in the loop.
They may not be the cheapest solution, but they will be well worth the cost (and possibly even more cost-effective) in the long run.
5. Invest In a Specialized Tool Inventory Management System
An inventory management system, like our MPTCrib, is a digitized tool that automates your inventory management tasks for streamlined efficiency. The technology of these tools has come a long way. Let it do some of your work for you.
All inventory management systems vary in price, features, and capabilities. However, most offer these primary benefits that can help simplify some aspects of your workday:
- Automated in-stock inventory management
- Automated sorting and organizing
- Out-of-stock alerts
- Fast location of tools
- Reduced downtime, improved productivity, and higher profitability
MPTCrib: Moeller Precision Tool’s Innovative Tool Inventory Management System
At Moeller Precision Tool, we’ve created a revolutionary inventory management software system designed to maximize your tool crib efficiency: MPTCrib.
MPTCrib was made by precision tool experts, for precision tool experts. We took years of industry experience and customer surveys to understand the pain points tool managers like you face on a daily basis, then created a system that would alleviate many of them.
Here’s what sets our inventory management system apart from others:
- Solid foundation — Our MPTCrib specialists will visit your site to conduct a full-scale audit of your inventory, so you’re set up for success. They’ll also train your whole team on the system.
- Continued support — Our MPTCrib team will stick with you, providing recommendations for new inventory additions and efficiency improvements.
- Compatibility — MPTCrib is compatible with your existing storage methods and systems.
- Barcode scanning — MPTCrib increases sign-out compliance, which results in better traceability and accountability of tools.
- Remote access — MPTCrib allows you to access your tool inventory at any time, anywhere.
- Multiple languages — MPTCrib is available in multiple languages and across international territories.
If you’re struggling with tool inventory management tasks on a daily basis, it’s time to make a change. MPTCrib could be your answer.
Tool Crib Management, Revolutionized. Contact Us to Learn More.
In need of a better tool inventory management solution? Reach out to our team at Moeller Precision Tool. With 55+ years of manufacturing experience, we know the struggles tool room managers face, and we’ve developed a robust system that can help.
Check out more benefits of MPTCrib here, or contact our team for additional information.