Divide and Conquer Your Plastic Containers with Dividers
While keeping track of small items can be challenging, it doesn’t need to be a losing battle. Whether it’s minor components or operating supplies, locating items that are not well organized is not only frustrating but also dangerous. When Lego-sized items spill onto the floor, they become accidents waiting to happen.
If you’re struggling to control small item storage, take a page from Julius Caesar’s playbook. Divide and Conquer. Caesar used the military tactic of pitting different Gallic tribes in Europe against each other so he could conquer the entire area. His tactic was even more impressive because the Gauls had superior military resources.
If you feel outnumbered by trying to organize a host of small items, look to plastic containers with dividers. These containers allow organizations to use Caesar’s divide and conquer strategy for more efficient operations. Are you going to question a strategy that enabled Caesar to conquer the entire known world in 100 BCE?
What is Small Item Storage?
Every industry uses small items in some capacity. Construction has nails, bolts, and washers. Pharmaceutical companies have medications and vitamins. Jewelers have gemstones and precious metals. These items are much easier to misplace than an 8 x 10 rug or piece of plywood. They are also a challenge to track as smaller items are much more easily lost or stolen.
Small Item Inventory
Smaller inventory items are not always small in value. Computer parts such as memory chips and SD cards can be priceless, especially when shortages occur. Over 40% of small businesses do not accurately track their inventory, and many do not control inventory at all. Of those that do, only 63% have an accurate accounting of their inventory.
Storage options such as plastic containers with dividers make tracking inventory less time-consuming. If small items are mixed together, it’s no wonder that companies cannot monitor their inventory. No one has the time to sort every time an updated inventory is needed. With divided containers, items can be counted quickly, and a visual inspection can determine if stock is running low.
Small Item Storage
Misplacing or losing less expensive, smaller items doesn’t mean there’s not an impact on the bottom line. How much time is wasted looking for small items? If the items aren’t well organized, employees could spend more time looking for them than they are worth.
Plastic containers with dividers provide employees with a way to separate similar items into individual compartments for easier retrieval. For example, businesses could store screws in yellow containers with different sizes in each compartment. Employees know that yellow means screws and only need to find the right size to fulfill an order.
Small Item Fulfillment
The 80/20 rule, when applied to inventory, means that 80% of your inventory comes from 20% of your stock. If storing finished goods, 80% of sales come from 20% of products. Place rapidly selling items in easy-to-reach locations to reduce the time needed to fulfill and order.
To speed up the process, place small items into compartments within plastic containers to reduce the time needed to complete an order. Employees only need to hunt for an item in the event a less popular product is sold. Faster pull times can lead to more shipments sent out every day.
When small pieces and parts are among the most pulled products, storing them in plastic containers with dividers reduces the chance that they could be misplaced or lost. Even office supplies can benefit from compartmentalized storage. The easier it is for employees to find an item, the less chaos occurs in the supply closet.
Small Item Storage Strategies
Although your storage facilities may sometimes feel like a battlefield, they don’t have to. Color-coding containers makes it easier for employees to identify their location in a warehouse. Blue containers for bolts or red containers for bottle caps can reduce the time it takes to locate items.
Once employees adapt to the coding system, they can easily find the item they’re looking for, especially when using a colored container that is also divided into compartments. Bolts can be separated by size. Bottle caps can be separated by type, as well as size. It doesn’t matter how items are divided. What matters is that they are divided.
The concept of divide and conquer may have seen its first success over 2,000 years ago, but it is still a strategy that appears in politics, economics, and military efforts. Using it as an organizational strategy for small-item storage can save time, money, and resources. If you’re looking to conquer your small-item storage challenges, try Flexcon’s plastic containers with standard and custom divider systems. After all, divide and conquer worked for Caesar. It can work for you, too.