Store-keeping is essentially a servicing facility, inside an organization, responsible for proper storage of the material and then issuing it to respective departments on proper requisition. The custodian of stores is generally known as Store- keeper or Store-controller. Those items which are not in use for some specific duration e.g. spare parts and the raw-materials are called as Stores and the building or space where these are kept is known as Store room.
Alford and Beatty say that store-keeping is that aspect of material management which is concerned with the physical storage of goods. In the words of Maynard, the duties of store-keeping are “to receive materials, to protect them while in storage from damage and unauthorized removal, to issue the materials in the right quantities, at the right time, to the right place and to provide these services promptly and at least cost.”
The significance store-keeping has not been properly recognized by various enterprises. In most organizations store-keeping is not given its due position in the organizational setup. Stores are generally located in ill-equipped and badly and poorly ventilated buildings. The executives of stores management are generally paid less in comparison to executives of other departments. These factors are responsible for mismanagement of stores resulting in discrepancies in issue of material, loss of items in stock, mistakes in vouchers etc. All these results in undue delay in production.
It is an established fact that more than 70% of the capital of an enterprise is invested in stores. Thus for efficient and economic utilization of capital the importance of stores cannot be ignored. The management of stores should be entrusted to experienced, sincere and efficient personnel and the location of stores should be at some proper and safe place.
Functions of Store-keeping :
The functions of store keeping are related with receiving, safe custody in stores and issuing the material against authorized requisition at the minimum cost.
The main objectives of store-keeping can be outlined as :
(i) receiving, handling and issue of material.
(ii) custodian of goods in store against damage and pilferage.
(iii) to ensure regular supply of materials.
(iv) effective utilization of space.
(v) to provide its service to the organization in most economical way.
(vi) to keep the details of the items available in store up-to-date.
(vii) physical checking of stocks.
Duties of Store-keeper :
The following are the main duties/responsibilities of stores controller of an organization :
(i) the items in stores should be placed in such a way that these can be easily located.
(ii) to maintain the store premises neat and clean.
(iii) efficient and effective service to the organization.
(iv) to ensure that materials are issued against authorized requisition only.
(v) to keep up-to-date record of materials issued, received and balance in stock.
(vi) planning and execution of stock checking activities.
(vii) communicate the purchase department about its requirements.
(viii) to maintain efficient and effective material handling system.
Position of Stores Controller in the Organizational setup :
In small scale establishments, it is experienced that purchase and stores department are attached with production department. In organizations where purchase department has a separate and independent entity, stores department is attached to purchase department. In big organizations where materials control is entrusted to a materials manager both purchase and stores sections are attached to material department.
Thus, the position of stores department is always of sub ordinate nature and it never enjoys an independent entity.