And now, for your reading pleasure, I present my own version of the famous “Who’s on First?” sketch by Abbott and Costello. This one involves inventory parts, of all things. Who knew parts inventory management could be so funny?
The following is a conversation between a warehouse manager and a worker who are trying to figure out the parts in their inventory, which have all been labeled by letter rather than number, leading to some pretty serious misunderstandings.
I call this presentation “Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow.”
Warehouse manager: “Post part M on the general ledger.”
Warehouse worker: “Pardon?”
Warehouse manager: “Not part N. I said part M.”
Warehouse worker: “You want me to do a postpartum on our general ledger? What do I look like – a doctor?”
Warehouse manager: “No, you fool. I want you to post the part labeled ‘M’ to the ledger. How hard is that to understand?”
Warehouse worker: “Oh, I see. By the way, I’ve been racking my brain over this work order. Can you help me figure out what this step says?”
Warehouse manager: “Let’s see. Join part E and part A.”
Warehouse worker: “You want me to go join a party and get down?”
Warehouse manager: “What? No, of course not!”
Warehouse worker: “But you just told me to go to a party and par-TAY.”
Warehouse manager: “It’s like we’re speaking two different languages. The parts are all lettered, so they sound like something else. Whenever I say ‘part something’ I don’t mean what you think I mean, okay?”
Warehouse worker: “Now I’m confused. How will I ever know what you mean?”
Warehouse manager: “That’s part of the problem!”
Warehouse worker: “Part F is a problem?”
Warehouse manager: “That’s it! From now on we’re going to number our parts. No more letters. Let’s start with part M, since that started this whole mess. What should we rename it?”
Warehouse worker: “Part ten?”
For more inventory management best practices mixed with a healthy dose of wit, keep coming back to the Fishbowl Inventory Blog.