Inventory Control Keeping Tabs on Your Building's Supply Chain

 Regardless of whether you live in a co-op or a condo, or whether your community  is a small, self-managed one or a sprawling development with hundreds of units  managed by a professional property management company, there is or very well  should be a system of checks and balances in place to help the administrative  side of the operation run smoothly.  

 Part of that system should include keeping track of how day-to-day supplies and  maintenance items are ordered and reordered, organized, and kept track of.  Preventing wasted supplies and inventory shrinkage (to borrow a phrase from the  world of retail) is an essential job component for both managers and building  staff members.  

 Track Your Orders and Expenses

 It usually starts out innocently enough but could snowball into a problem if no  one is watching the fox in the hen house to use a popular analogy, managers  says. According to Larry Vitelli, a senior vice president with Manhattan-based  Douglas Elliman Property Management, a coordinated ordering system should  exist. "Normally, the super should not order supplies directly. He should  requisition the supplies he needs, the account executive should approve the  requisition, and the purchasing department of the management company should do  the ordering."  

 Management pros note that the most common source of loss in a residential  building is probably due to wasteful spending due and incorrect ordering of  supplies and materials. Smaller purchases for parts or supplies may go  unnoticed, while the larger expenses are most likely red-flagged and monitored  very cautiously.  

 Peter Grech, a resident manager and building consultant, who is with the New  York City Superintendents Technical Association, says that in his 35 years of  experience, he has never been given any guidance regarding inventory control.  Management companies usually don’t get involved unless an issue arises. It is, however, important to track all  purchases and receivables, through use of a computer or maintenance log of some  sort, he says. “Inventory should be done monthly for large buildings and quarterly for small  buildings,” Grech says, “but then again, there is no set standard.”  


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  • I have heard from a very reliable source that our new managing agent was suspected of taking large kickbacks a number of years ago. She put the blame on the super, who was fired. however, the staff believed it was her. I would like to find out if there is truth behind these allegations, How do I get this info?
  • I’m a new board member of a 200 plus unit Coop and appreciate some excellent guidance and comprehensive information, There is one sentence I believe needs correction. Under the heading, “Other Tips Such as These Include”; the first sentence states, “ Make sure all checks are made payable to cash.” This of course I should say “make sure NO checks are payable to cash.”