Most companies find it difficult to maintain effective spare parts management because they are worried that the inventory of spare parts may be inconsistent with the effective control of operating costs. As a plant manager, various expectations recognize the importance of implementing effective spare parts management methods. Worldwide services provide a powerful spare parts optimization and management system to ensure the smooth operation of your business. It is a simple and affordable way for you to have the right equipment at the right time to avoid downtime.
But what is spare parts management? As a successful factory manager, the actual spare parts inventory management is still the foundation of reliable factory operation. As a factory manager or supply chain manager, you need to know the process of determining which spare parts you need to make your system produce. You need to develop a planned approach that follows best industry practices.
Now, let’s learn about spare parts management.
What is Spare Parts Management?
The spare parts management process is a system between the company and the spare parts supplier. It provides a direct inventory and transportation method before you need spare parts. From computer and server components to bolts, fasteners and even swiping cards, spare parts optimization and management is an effortless way for you never have to wait a few days for a part after something is broken or lost.
The effective management of maintenance spare parts is the key factor in equipment operation performance and maintenance investment cost. Having strategic service providers, providing consistent performance and service level agreements, and managing spare parts at the best price is the task of providing “the right parts, in the right quantity, to the right place, at the right time, with the right quality level, and with the lowest total cost in the organization”.
Benefits of a Spares Management Plan
The standby management system combines hardware and software support tools to help you share operations and required information. Through cooperation, we can generate a list of common spare parts you may need, and understand which components are prone to failure together, from server blades and racks to microwave systems and some antennas.
Here are some of the benefits of spare parts management and what a plan can do for your operations:
- It allows you to maintain a low level of spare parts inventory, reduce carrying and storage costs, and provide access to spare parts when needed.
- Provide better service for customers. The longer the operation time is, the better the service can be provided to support the needs of customers.
- Enhance the visibility of components so that your supply chain can show where the requirements are and where the components are going.
- Improve the uptime of the equipment because you limit the downtime of the equipment without waiting for revenue or finding a source of funds to repair damaged parts.
- Faster repair and replacement of defective parts, as well as help greater failure.
- The internal system can help you realize many of these benefits, but it will not meet the requirements in the end, because it is limited to your understanding of the equipment. Third-party services can help you understand the trends of the whole industry – for example, understand that a certain type of server may fail after three years of use, and you need to use specific replacement parts after three years of use of your model.
How to Be Efficient at Spare Parts Management
There are some things to consider when creating effective spare parts inventory management. We carefully analyzed seven things to consider to help improve performance, improve the efficiency of plant operations, and reduce costs. Here are 7 things you need to consider:
- management strategy
- Effective parts inventory control
- In-depth understanding of delivery dates of different parts
- Stocking new equipment
- Better security measures
- Standardize work order process
- Calculate the risk of each equipment
Taking these factors into account, we can reduce the carrying cost, reduce the performance interruption, and improve the overall efficiency.
Let’s take a closer look at them.
Operational strategies include willingness to operate from reactive or predictive methods. Some enterprises are used to creating operation plans based on response events. In order to successfully manage spare parts, a predictive strategy is required.
Even though passive methods can never be completely abandoned, the core of successful maintenance management is to avoid future problems before they occur.
Considerations for effective inventory management involving spare parts operation strategy include:
- Collect and analyze data related to improving business strategies.
- Capable of covering the whole operation range of the part management process. This scope includes positioning and solving major problems that may arise in the long term.
- Be sure to look for failure modes that may reveal problems that may not seem obvious.
- Use predictive management to help make better use of resources, and reduce costs, and the time required to solve problems.
Effective Parts Inventory Control
Spare parts inventory management does not always include all that is called production. In fact, it is unlikely to see a large inventory of various parts. Proper storage and organization of spare parts in a selected and safe space is the key to inventory control.
If parts or new stock are obtained without records, the prompt to reorder is unlikely to appear. Proper analysis and inspection of your billing and storage systems can reveal a lot about the quality of your inventory controls.
In order to better control inventory, considerations include:
- Establish clear standards to help, classify and define spare parts (marking parts with terms such as “critical” can help prioritize parts inventory).
- Check all spare parts regularly according to time change, replacement/replacement, etc.
- Regular inspection of spare parts to see if there are any spare parts in stock can help reduce the overall inventory cost.
In-Depth Understanding of Delivery Dates of Different Parts
A comprehensive understanding of the delivery date of spare parts is a necessary condition for establishing a successful spare parts inventory management. For a part, the lead time is very important to consider which parts to stock and the quantity.
For example, machine spare parts that are not critical to daily operations are often excluded from the inventory plan. On the other hand, if the loss of production time means significant economic losses to your business, it is almost unacceptable to leave these key assets without parts for one or two days.
When looking for an in-depth understanding of the lead time of parts inventory, things to consider include:
- Create custom orders for parts with long lead times and cancel the acceleration option (it is best to keep parts with long lead times).
- Create a quick access list of non-branded components (as viable alternatives during a crisis).
Stocking New Equipment
We often hear managers claim that “no spare parts are required for the installation of new equipment”. Although it may seem logical, this is the wrong approach for efficient spare parts management, because it assumes that the machines and parts supplied by suppliers are perfect and of high quality (but this is not always the case).
However, it is regrettable that some failures during equipment startup are not uncommon. In this case, it may not be a bad idea to reserve an appropriate amount of spare items.
Spare parts for new equipment include:
- Cooperate with the operation Department to ensure that the budget includes funds for spare parts.
- Ask the supplier for a list of recommended key components for the machine they just sold you.
- Use existing information to improve decisions about which parts need to be stocked.
Better Security Measures
Restricting who can access the parts inventory warehouse is also an important step in creating an efficient spare parts management system. If everyone has access to the parts inventory warehouse/room, you are likely to have an endless struggle with inventory inaccuracies.
When implementing better security measures, several basic practices should be considered, including:
- Develop policies to prohibit some employees from accessing parts inventory.
- Ensure physical security measures are taken for each stock, such as parts counter.
- Install security camera system and access badge.
- Train employees in the factory to properly maintain parts, and conduct a continuous inspection of key parts.
Standardize Work Order Process
Using a strong and direct work order process can help with effective inventory management. Once this is taken into account, the process should be easy to follow and standardized for everyone.
An effective work order requires appropriate guidelines, including the issuance of all parts – so the inventory control system remains accurate. Develop a less complex work order process to ensure that all necessary information is taken into account.
Considerations for standardizing the work order process include:
- Without a work order, how complex is the method of obtaining parts
- Be able to identify employees who do not follow defined workflows, which may lead to inaccurate inventory.
- Do you have a flexible enough process to create high-priority work orders in advance
- Process work orders and purchase order requests as early as possible to reduce parts waiting time.
There is no better way to standardize your workflow than to clearly define best practices and enable the entire process to be supported by mobile maintenance software.
Calculate the Risk of Each Equipment
Inevitably, the equipment may fail at any time, but calculating the shutdown risk is helpful for effective spare parts management.
Whenever a machine is shut down or undergoing major maintenance, there may still be several components of value for future use.
Items to be considered in the risk calculation of each piece of equipment include:
- Calculate your exposure by determining the total cost of an hour of downtime for your company.
- Deal with relevant data and the delivery date of parts.
- Determine the cost and cause of downtime.
- Create a cost comparison for purchasing “new” and “old” spare parts.
Generally, spare parts inventory management has not received due attention. Only when the inventory cost needs to be reduced or the loss of spare parts continues to prolong the expensive shutdown time, will it receive serious attention.
An accurate inventory system, coupled with efficient spare parts management, allows the use of spare parts to be more proactive and responsive to business needs. If you know which components play an important role in your day-to-day operations, your business can save a lot of money – and store them accordingly.