A few days ago, I did a stock take as part of my reservist. I was never a storeman, just a vehicle mechanic who will be finishing his reservist cycles this year.
As such, I had no experience doing a stock take. My role was to conduct an audit. You don’t have to be trained to do this, but it took some organisation of the information to do it efficiently.
Fortunately my unique ability is to organize information to create systems to execute plans.
As military information and activities are classified information, I cannot provide details of the stock take. I just want to share a learning point from the experience.
The inventory stores were divided into two types: expendables and non-expendables.
Expendables are items that are easy to come by and cheap. Paper cups, ball point pens, and such. Once they are distributed to the recipient, they are not required to be returned to the storeroom.
Non-expendables are items that are relatively expensive or pose security risk. They are loaned out and must be returned to the storeroom when no longer in use.
As I reflected on it, I realised that the unit is organized in the form of a community. The members of the unit share equipment because not everyone needs to use the same equipment at the same time all the time.
I came to realise that in communities outside our families, we don’t really share stuff. Even for our Freegan in Singapore community, everything is expendable. Once they are distributed, they don’t get returned to the store.
We could, as a community, have a central store where we return items that we don’t use anymore so that others can use it.
I have a trolley outside my home which I share with the residents of my HDB block.
Anyone may use the barrel, but I asked everyone to please return it after use so that others may use it too.
In this way, we can cut down on costs, oversupply, and redundancies.