New Life For 'Dead Stock' In The Tool Crib

This tool management software offers features for selling tool crib inventory that sits around without being used.

Article From: 5/1/2007 Modern Machine Shop, ,

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Tool inventory software can be great for finding and managing needed tools within a tool crib. And as it turns out, the same software can be just as effective for finding tools that are not needed.

For example, users of WinWare’s CribMaster routinely use the software to identify “dead stock”—tooling and other supplies that the shop ordered but never put to use. Company marketing director Robert Holmes says this use of the software led to a question. Since shops can’t very well hold garage sales, is there some way the software could help to liquidate this boat-anchor inventory?

The response was a new “broker auction interface.” At the user’s prompting, the CribMaster software can now reach beyond the shop to make surplus inventory available for sale online. It does this by interfacing with SourceApp.com, an industrial auction marketplace.

The user first queries CribMaster to identify inventory that hasn’t moved since a certain date. From this report, the user chooses which item(s) to get rid of. The function “submit to auction” engages SourceApp. On this site, the user chooses the category where the item should be listed and sets parameters such as minimum bid and auction end date. Within CribMaster, the inventory then becomes “reserved,” so other users in the same plant can’t issue the stock. Finally, if a bid is accepted, the inventory is released from the system, and the software prints a shipping label with the winning bidder’s address.

Payment is handled through SourceApp. Because of a marketing agreement between the two companies, WinWare users register accounts on this site at no charge.

The feature might seem most appropriate for large manufacturers that accumulate lots of excess inventory, but in fact Mr. Holmes says he sees the feature being particularly beneficial for smaller shops.

“Bigger companies often have multiple sites, and they can shift their inventory between them,” he says. The intent of the broker-auction feature is to give small shops something like the same inventory-shifting freedom, so dead stock doesn’t have to find its final resting place in their cribs.

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