After reading this article you will learn about the codification of materials in store.

In order to identify correctly to avoid confusion, and to save time and efforts to locate the item, proper codification is necessary.

Proper codification has following advantages:

(i) To avoid lengthy description.


(ii) To have correct identification.

(iii) To prevent duplication.

(iv) To standardise the items.

(v) To reduce varieties.


(vi) To facilitate recording, accounting and costing.

(vii) Easy locating and indexing.

Systems of Codification:

Following systems are generally used for codification:


(i) Alphabetical or Letter Code System and Mnemonic System:

Each class of item is desig­nated by a specific letter. Assignment of letters are generally done either haphazardly or in a manner conducive to easy memorisation (latter one is also known as Mnemonic System) e.g. Brass Screw by B.S. and Steel Screw by S.S.

(ii) Numerical System:

Under this system, specific number is assigned to denote a par­ticular class of material.


(iii) Decimal System:

Under this system, the digits of the integral part represent a basic unit and the decimal part represents a sub-group of the basic unit. Each digit of the decimal represents further classifications of the materials.

(iv) Block System:

Under this system, a block of numbers is earmarked for particular type of materials e.g., the numbers from 1000 to 1099 may be reserved for lubricants and greases.


(v) Combination System:

Alphabetic, numerical, Mnemonic or Decimal systems are com­bined in this system.

Codification is used to properly classify equipment’s, raw materials, components and spares to suit the particular needs of any organisation. Codification is helpful to prevent duplication and multiplicity of stores and the mistakes which are caused by the normal practice of describ­ing the material.

The main features of rationalised code are:


(i) It describes an article objectively,

(ii) It is an all-numeric 8-digit code, and

(iii) It describes an article progressively from general to particular.

For example:


(1) 03 01 15 15 – Radian 12 SWg (size)

First two digits 03 indicates — Arc Welding electrodes

Second two digits 01 indicates — Manual electrodes (local – M.S.)

Third two digits 15 indicates — Radian

Last two digits 15 indicates — 12 SWg (size)

The code has got enough flexibility to absorb all the materials of the concern and has the provisions for unforeseen contingencies also.


First two digits indicate the main group that is all the materials are divided into 100 main groups, say for instance 10 gases, 20 chemicals, 42 screws, 64 hand tools etc.

Third and fourth digit indicates the type of article.

For example:

Fifth and sixth digits indicates the shape and metallurgical conditions.

For example:

Thus, last two digits indicate the size.

In this way with the help of codification materials are specified at every stage that is in the main groups, types, shapes and metallurgical conditions and sizes. For all the materials, the code length is constant and is useful for the use of punched cards and computers.

Now codification is applied to all purchased items, i.e., raw materials, semi-finished and finished products, saleable products and components.