To discharge its responsibilities adequately, the warehouse must actively cooperate with other departments, not only on provision of a service, but to give and receive information so that the service is efficient. The specific relationship relates to the following functions:
Production department: This department is the main supplies ‗customer‘ and it is therefore of the first importance that the services to production are satisfactory in all respects. The closest cooperation is essential not only on the provision of materials but also on the stock levels to be maintained in accordance with the policy for the inventory control. The warehouse provides materials, tools and other shop supplies at the required times and in the required quantities to meet the factory program, advices anticipated difficulties or failure in supply and notifies any substitute or surplus materials available from stock. The warehouses are always ready to accept work in progress and finished goods at any time and receive scrap, offcuts, rejected items and salvaged or reclaimed materials as they arise so that the shop floor may be promptly cleared. The production department sends in to the appropriate warehouses not only the work in progress and finished goods, but any excess materials, tools, fixtures and equipment not currently required and notifies as soon as possible any impending changes in the production schedule.
Design and engineering department: It is most desirable for warehouses to have a close link with these departments particularly from the point of view of specifications, standards and obsolescence. Arrangements are made to see that, before any new design, modification or technique is put into production due note is taken of materials to the old design, so as to avoid obsolescence and , whenever possible, new items and modification are introduced to coincide with the running down of existing stocks. The design or engineering departments are consulted when obsolescent or obsolete items are to be listed for disposal.
Quality department: Accommodation for inspection personnel may be provided in warehouses and they are notified of all receipts. The warehouse is responsible for holding goods receipt. It holds goods received in quarantine and submits samples to inspection promptly. In return, the inspection department inspects and tests deliveries without delay and indicates acceptance or rejection. The supplies function must work closely with the quality department if quality is approached from an ‗assurance‘ viewpoint‘.
Maintenance department: The supplies service in this case consists in acquiring appropriate materials and machinery spares and being in position to issue them as and when required. To facilitate this work, the maintenance department advises of the forward program on repairs and overhauls as far as possible, particularly where planned maintenance is in operation and advises on the initial quantities of spares to be provided when any major new plant or machinery is installed.
Finance department: There is a continuous exchange of information covering verification of records and physical stock, clearance of invoices both inwards and outwards, revision of prices, supply of material-cost information and control of working capital allocated to the financing stock. Procedures are organized to work together effectively to control the value of inventory and cost of materials. The finance department usually provides regular periodic detailed statements of the cost of operation of the supplies service.
Transport department: The warehouse is itself sometimes responsible for transport but where there is a separate transport department, it is essential that the two work together harmoniously. The supply function reports details of loads, pick up locations and discharge points, makes facilities available for the speedy, safe loading or discharge of goods and provides a weighbridge service. The transport department is responsible for the ready availability of vehicles and for advising any circumstances which may delay deliveries or collections, such as breakdowns, strikes or adverse weather.
Sales department: The service provided is normally the acceptance, storage, packing and dispatching of finished products. The sales department cooperates by advising of any appreciable fluctuation in the demand for the finished goods which may affect storage accommodation and is also responsible for giving instruction on the quantities of spare parts or other materials to be held for servicing sales already made.