Rotating your MRO stock? Realize that many items have a shelf life. In this brief video, Jeff Shiver outlines a FIFO process for your maintenance storeroom.


Hello, I'm Jeff Shiver, Managing Principal of People and Processes. I wanted to share some concepts with you today around your stockroom and the piece that we're going to focus on is FIFO, or first in, first out.

Do you recognize that many parts in your stockroom actually have shelf lives? Consider a Gates belt as an example, a simple drive belt. What do you think Gates might say the shelf life is? Roughly three years. Depends on where you place it. If you place it up close to the lights or things like that where it has more UV damage or whatever the case may be.

What about SKF? What about a seal bearing in a package? It might surprise you to learn that it's only about seven years. What happens is the lubricant dries out and you actually have to open the package. SKF sells a spray, and you go back in and re-lubricate and you turn the bearings. What you're trying to do is prevent metal-to-metal contact by putting that lubricating film between the metal surfaces. Recognize that things have a shelf life. Many different things have a shelf life. The challenge for us is, is how do we make sure that we're rotating our inventory?

Often times you'll see when you look at racks of belts as an example, you'll see that you've got the oldest belts run on the back and they're covered in dust, and then the newest belts are put on the front. There's no rotation of stock going on. The challenge for you is you've got to make sure the stock is rotated.

One way to make sure you're doing that well is you date stamp things. That can be just a simple little vanilla tag with a piece of string that's wrapped around it, or you date stamp the carton that it came in, or the case that it came in. Just use maybe a rubber date stamp so that you can just dial the particular date.

Here's the day we receive it, you stamp it, you put it on there, and now I can actually tell the age of my inventory, so I can make sure that the first in is the first out coming out of the shelf. Put that in your process. Make sure it's happening in your stockroom today. Hope you enjoyed the tip. I'm Jeff Shiver, managing principal of People and Processes.