Many school districts throughout the state have warehouses which hold materials, supplies, and sometimes equipment to be used in the administration and instructional programs of the schools.
Materials maintained in the warehouse can range from instructional/office, custodial, health, physical education, forms, etc. Many districts have set up an inventory numbering system giving inventory stock numbers. The numbering sequence for one district identifies the type of materials housed in the warehouse, i.e.:
- 01X00( – Instructional/Office Supplies
- 02XXX – Custodial Supplies
- 03)00C – Lighting (lamps) Supplies
- 04XXX – Health/Nursing Supplies
- 05XXX – Physical Education Supplies
- 06XXX – District Forms
Warehouse catalogs are produced annually identifying materials located in the warehouse. Schools and sites order material through a warehouse requisition form (see WHS-1) indicating the following:
Generally, the warehouse requisition forms are prenumbered. Also included on the form is the name of the requestor along with the school/site location.
Warehousing Systems can be either manual or computerized. Manual Systems are cumbersome & time intensive involving staff time in updating stores buy cards. Computerized stores systems are more automatic and can save the warehouse additional time.
Store’s Inventory Procedure:
- A good stores inventory control system helps to maintain a continuous supply of materials in the warehouse. Items that are commonly used and constantly ordered should be included in the warehouse stock.
- Minimum and maximum re-order figures should be checked periodically and changed as trends and suppliers indicate.
- Future needs can be calculated from past usage records, which should be an inherent part of the inventory control system. In addition to past usage, the following items must also be considered:
- Program Changes
- Product Changes
- Year to date usage
- Seasonal items
- Inventory on hand
- Lead time for delivery
- Re-ordering points
- Standard packaging
- Shelf Life
- Permanent stock records (either computerized or manual) are maintained in the Purchasing Department and should reflect the following information:
- District Stock Number
- Item Description Vendor Information
- Bid Number, if applicable
- Unit Price
- Unit of Issue
- Unit of Packaging, i.e., envelopes per box
- Manufacturer’s Packaging (if required to order to meet that packaging)
- Ordering History including PO#, amounts ordered & received
- Issue History
- Balance on Hand Usage History Stock Location
- Warehouse Stock Catalogs should be prepared by the Purchasing Department and provided to each ordering location. Warehouse Stock Catalogs should be updated annually.
- As stock is received from vendor, it is posted (either by computer or manually) to the stock record. Stock issued to sites is posted to stock record. When stock level drops below the pre-determined minimum or re-order point an order is created (manually or by computer) by Purchasing to the Vendor to bring the stock level back to the maximum.
- Orders are picked by warehouse staff and re-checked for accuracy of count and description. The order is then packed, marked for delivery and loaded on the delivery truck.
Warehouse materials to be delivered to schools and sites should be clearly marked indicating delivery location, requestor name, and requisition number.
In some Districts special color coded labels are used to assist Delivery drivers in delivering.
- Items that are out of stock when order is pulled will be placed on a backorder status (if your district uses a backorder system) and delivered as soon as possible when additional stock is received.
- No supplies should be taken from the warehouse without an approved requisition.
- The Purchasing Department will provide on-going review of items stocked in the warehouse. Items that have little activity should be considered for removal from warehouse stock and items that are repetitively being special ordered by Purchasing may need to be considered for inclusion in warehouse stock. Using sites/departments will be notified of any changes/updates to warehouse catalog.
- Physical inventory of warehouse stock should be taken at least once a year. After physical count is complete, discrepancies should be researched, and adjustments made to the inventory. Following the adjustments, a complete inventory report will be provided to the Accounting Department for inclusion in the end of the year budget.
Physical Requirements of Warehouse:
- In planning a warehouse lay-out you need to know the materials to be stored and the space that is available for this use. Carefully plan the physical stock arrangement for types of storage–open cube stacking; pallet racks; adjustable shelving; bin or drawer storage; frozen food, etc. To better understand the space, you have to work with, a careful study of the warehouse area should be made. This should include a floor plan showing all doors, columns, ceiling and stacking height.
- Selection of handling equipment. Careful consideration must be given to equipment such as:
- Forklift–large enough to handle maximum loads that will be required and attain the heights of the pallet racks selected.
- Narrow aisle walkie-stacker which will operate in narrow aisles thus giving less wasted space and more square feet of usable storage.
- Pallet jacks–type and style to be compatible with other equipment and pallets.
- Selection of pallet design and size. There are two basic designs of wooden pallets two-way entry and four-way entry. These two designs can be built as single or double wing, or as box type pallets. Careful thought should be given to the selection of pallet size. The size should be suitable to all the forklifts, one that can be loaded into the delivery trucks with a minimum of lost space and lend itself to pallet rack use.
- In a warehouse where it is necessary to stock many different types of materials and still have easy access to all items you will want to consider the use of pallet racks. They will give maximum utilization without sacrificing accessibility for stock picking. In choosing the pallet racks refer to the floor plan, noting carefully the clear space between supporting columns and available height for stacking. There are four general types of pallet racks:
- Non-adjustable, fully welded
- Non-adjustable, welded, with nut and bolt construction
- Adjustable, welded and bolted
- Adjustable, boltless and welded
In school warehousing where the types of materials stored may change from year to year and there is the possibility of moving to a building with different dimensions, the adjustable style should be the first choice. Racks to be considered should be racks for storage of furniture, custodial supplies and special items.
If there is a need for storage of small lot items, which can best be accomplished through the use of bins. In most cases of school district warehousing metal bins of uniform height with adjustable shelving will meet this need. Keep in mind the possibility of a mezzanine deck over these bins that could be used for back-up stock or more bins. This arrangement will allow full use of all the cubic space.
- When planning the location of stock items, the most popular items should be placed where they can be reached easily when filling orders. Similar items should be stored together for quick issue, such as educational, physical education, nursing and custodial supplies. The third item of consideration in planning a layout is the physical size of the item which will determine the space needed for the items. Enough area should be allowed for the receiving and packing of orders for delivery and office space.