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Saul’s Station #4 (9/15/22)

Posted by Scott Goldfarb on

Today, I will try the impossible- try and explain why two of my interests are related.  At first, you wouldn’t think they are. Gardening and inventory control are two areas that I spend a lot of time thinking about and working to improve. Gardening is a hobby. Inventory control may be the most important thing we do at Goldfarb & Associates. 

Four years ago, my Mom asked me to pick up a few tomato plants. She was 84 at the time and still an avid gardener. Good for her. When I went to get the plants, I remembered my visit to  Turbo Diesel & Injection Systems in Forest Park GA. They had an amazing garden in the back of their warehouse.  It was more like a mini farm to this suburbanite. So, I picked up 3 tomato plants for myself.  There was a 50 foot by 4 foot empty garden bed on the side of our own warehouse that must have had shrubs at one time. 

With a little love  our tomato plants  thrived. Three tomato plants grew to eight tomato plants and  eight pepper plants. And chives, cucumbers, mint and marigolds. Lots of marigolds. I filled the entire 200-square feet. It was easy and a lot of work.

 In 2020, I added twelve 3 x 4 foot industrial plastic containers in front of our warehouse and  doubled the size of my garden. 

As a bonus, I got several of our associates to plant bins. Barry, Evan and Kevin all have their own mini garden bins.We invested the time and energy it takes to learn how to grow and maintain a successful garden.

 mini garden bins mini garden bins mini garden bins

So how is this similar to inventory control? 

 Well, when Goldfarb & Associates started, I had a small self-storage unit. That grew to two units, then three units. Today we have 25000 square feet of warehouse space. We started with a few hundred dollars’ worth of cores. Today we have over $1.6 million dollars’ worth of fuel injectors, injection pumps and turbochargers.

In order to keep track of all this material, you have to have some sort of inventory system. Try finding one specific turbo Part # when you have 25 racks of five shelves each that go 20 feet in the air of just turbos! Not so simple. 

At first we separated pumps, injectors from turbos and that was enough. As we grew, we started sorting by brand. Bosch, Cat, Cummins, Detroit. Eventually, everyone had to participate in the inventory control process. 

About 12 years ago our inventory had grown to a size that visually finding parts became impossible. So we started looking around for a bar coding system.  We contacted our accounting software, Quickbooks for advice. We spoke with our customers and vendors. I reached out to anyone I knew who had to control their inventory. In the end, Quickbooks advised us to use a system called Fishbowl Inventory. 

Implementing an inventory control system is not for the faint of heart. It takes years to really understand it.  It takes constant attention to detail.  Mistakes will be made. But now, 12 years later, we are able to find one specific turbo, injector or pump out of tens of thousands of parts. When a customer calls and asks if we have an old John Deere inline A Pump, we can answer yes or no in 5 seconds. That is very gratifying for us and valuable to our customers.
diesel injection parts fuel injection pump parts turbochargers

So have I successfully proven that gardens and an inventory control system are related? Both need attention to detail.  Both require study and constant updating and care. Like most things in life, you get out what you put in. If you are patient, keep your garden weed free, and watered you will end up with a bounty of fruits and vegetables. With inventory control, if you are patient, tag things correctly, enter the info correctly into the system and always put the parts where they belong, you will be able to support your customers in a timely and hopefully profitable manner. So, if you need vegetables or cores (or new or remaining parts) contact us. We’ll be able to help you with either.  

 

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