TSA needs better warehouse inventory management system, research finds

////TSA needs better warehouse inventory management system, research finds

The Transportation and Security Administration could save a significant amount of money by upgrading its warehouse inventory management software, as a recent audit conducted by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General found that the agency may be wasting $800,000 annually needlessly storing old equipment.

According to the Office of the Inspector General, the TSA had about 17,000 items stored in three Logistics Center warehouses in Texas, with $185 million worth of equipment at the facilities, USA Today reported. While some of the inventory stored included critical hardware such as X-ray machines and metal detectors, not all of it should have been in the warehouses.

In particular, the OIG report discovered that TSA too frequently kept items in storage for longer than was necessary. More than 3,800 pieces of equipment sat in storage facilities for more than two years, and 360 of those were supposed to be disposed of rather than retained, according to USA Today. Additionally, some explosion detection machines that had a combined worth of $3.7 million became obsolete while sitting for too long in a warehouse.

"Although TSA has improved accountability of screening equipment at the Logistics Center, its plans and procedures for inventory management need additional improvements," the OIG said, according to Aero-News Network. "Specifically, TSA stored unusable or obsolete equipment, maintained inappropriate safety stock levels, and did not develop an inventory management process that systematically deploys equipment. Additionally, TSA did not use all storage space within the Logistics Center."

The TSA, in its response to the report, said that one of the primary reasons for the inefficiencies is the ever-evolving nature of threat detection technology. As new systems are introduced into the marketplace, the TSA needs to keep up with and purchase the most recent solutions. As a result of this paradigm, the agency finds itself storing increasingly large quantities of equipment in its warehouse, USA Today reported. However, the TSA admitted that its warehouse inventory management system is inadequate and should be upgraded.

"TSA understands the need to reassess warehouse space requirements and will do so on an annual basis," TSA deputy administrator John Halinski wrote in response to the report, according to the news source.

How warehouse inventory management software can help the TSA
Although there are a number of reasons the TSA has such an inefficient warehouse inventory management system in place, improved inventory control software could solve the agency's warehouse woes. With an automated tracking system in place, TSA officials would have a better understanding of what equipment was in a warehouse at any given time and thus be able to more quickly deploy or dispose of equipment.

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