Codification of Materials
One of the most important factors in dealing with the materials is the human element which cannot be ignored or bypassed in devising any method of identifying or codifying the materials. Hence, every stores management has to look into the problem involving human being as one of the important elements.
Before the system of codification came into existence, the normal way of identifying an article in the storehouse is by its simple description. But this was neither satisfactory nor helpful in carrying out various operations speedily and effectively. The description was sometimes vague and may be confusing.
For example, the word dustbin may be known as refuse container, rubbish box, etc. This may result in confusion and tend to duplicate ordering or result in over-stocking. Accurate identification of an article, sometimes, demands lengthy descriptions which may generally be complicated and add to the confusion.
A ‘chair’ if said as such is not the identification. An armchair, plastic, caned back, revolving, steel frame, foam cushioned, etc., may be the accurate description of the chair in question.
Systems of Codification
The common code systems, among the many used for stores (materials) are given below:
- Alphabetic system,
- Simple numeric or sequence system,
- Combination system,
- Block system,
- Decimal system,
- Numerical system,
- Mnemonic system and
- Six letter – nine letter codes.
1. Alphabetic System
Letters are chosen to represent particular classification. Alphabet code has 26 letters. Each position in the code has 26 possible letters, where relatively few classification are involved, assignment of letter designates is sometimes arbitrarily made.
2. Simple Numeric or Sequence System
Numbers are assigned for classification. The obvious disadvantage of this simple numerical sequence is that there are no memory adds incorporated in the system. A good deal of time is wasted in aching for code numbers in materials code books.
3. Combination System
Some firms find it advantageous to combine a mnemonic and numerical or decimal system.
4. Block System
Blocks of numbers are reserved for specified classifications such as 1700-1799 for the raw materials and 1800-1899 for manufacturing parts, etc. The advantage by doing so is that wherever numbers are not assigned, subsequent expansion can be accommodated.
5. Decimal System
Numbers are assigned in such a manner that each digit represents a sub-group or sub-account of the previous digit. The principal advantage of a decimal system is its capacity to accommodate a new item. The disadvantage is that it becomes cumbersome when a basic unit has many minor assemblies which in turn consists of numerous sub-assemblies.
6. Numeric System
The first or basic numbers indicate specific classes with subsequent digits used to describe sub-classifications.
7. Mnemonic System
It is an alphabetic system designed with an objective of easy memorization.
8. Six Letter or Nine Letter Codes
This system is widely adopted and is of immense use.
Advantages of Codification
To identify correctly, to avoid multiplication of items, to save time and labour, to facilitate easy location and proper functioning of the storehouse, a proper codification is to be evolved so as to obtain the following benefits:
1. To avoid long and unwieldy description.
2. To have accurate and logical identification.
3: To prevent duplication.
4. To standardize items.
5. To reduce varieties.
6. To have an efficient purchasing department.
7. To obtain efficiency in recording and accounting.
8. To simplify and facilitate mechanical recording.
9. To simplify and facilitate pricing.
10. To have proper system of location and indexing.
11. To assure correct and efficient inspection; and
12. To implement production as planned.