The management of spare parts and materials used for maintenance is an essential component in the overall maintenance management because it has a critical effect on the efficiency and productivity of maintenance activities.

Materials may be available in stock (in the warehouse), or by order from the supplier, but, in either case, they must be organised and accessible through the management system. Only materials that are coded and recorded in the system, in the Articles/Materials Master File, are considered materials within the management system. A material coding standard establishes the rules to be used to code and record the materials for the Master File.

The systematic organisation of Classes, Families and Subfamilies sets the materials coding standard to use. The idea is that, using the logical structure made up of the aggregation of class + family + subfamily, within each ‘group’ there is a workable number of items that are easily searchable.

ManWinWin Express already includes a generic coding standard for materials, but of course, adjustments have to made to your Organisation’s specific needs.

The stock item’s description, when applicable, must be complemented with the item’s manufacturer code or reference, ideally including it both in the respective field and in the stock item’s description.


It is good practive to code stock items the following way:

  • Class with 1 letter – Ex: “S” for “Spares”
  • Familty with 2 letters – Ex: “FI” for “Filters”
  • Subfamily with 3 digits – Ex: “010” for “Air Filters“

When creating subfamilies, be sure to leave some numbering available for changes that you may have to make. Example: 010, 020, 100, 200, etc.

When recording information in the Articles/Materials Master File, there are 2 very common mistakes that you should very disciplined about and should avoid: recoding the same article/material with different codes and recording articles that are not relevant for maintenance.