Classification and codification of materials are steps in maintaining stores in a systematic way. Materials are classified in such way that storing, issuing and identifying of materials become easy. Generally, materials are classified on the basis of their nature. Materials can also be classified on the basis of quality and utility. For example, materials may be classified as raw materials, consumable stores, components, spares and tools. Thus classifying materials on different bases such as nature, quality and utility is called classification of materials.
For the purpose of identification and convenience in storage and issue of materials, each item of material is given a distinct name. Such a process of giving distinct names and symbols to different items of materials is called codification of materials. Good store-keeping requires proper classification and codification of various items of stores on stock. Stores are generally classified either by their nature or by their usage. The former method of classification or classification by the nature of materials is most commonly used. Under this method of classification, the various items of stores are divided into specific groups like construction materials, belting materials, consumable stores, spare parts and so on. All the items are grouped, so that each item of stores will be conveniently codified on alphabetical, numerical or alpha-numerical basis and given a distinctive store code number.
Numerical Codification System
In numerical codification, each item is allotted a number, The numbering may be straight or in groups or blocks. This method is very suitable for those companies where the number of items are very large.
Alphabetical Codification System
In alphabetical codification, each item is denoted by a combination of the alphabets, for example, A for nut, B for screw and so on. This system is not suitable if there are large number of store items.
Alpha-numeric Codification System
In alpha-numeric codification, alphabets along with numbers are used for coding.
Decimal Codification System
The decimal codification system is more commonly used. The number of digits in the code will depend upon the extent of classification required. The greater the number of details to be covered, the greater will be the number of digits.
Advantages of Classification And Codification Of Materials
Following are the advantages of classification and codification of materials
- Quick and easy identification of materials.
- Helps ensure a proper material control.
- Secrecy of materials.
- Saving of time in material handling.
- Eliminating the chances of wrong issue.