5 Expert Suggestions For Optimizing Spare Parts Management

June 8, 2016 9:13 am

1. Plan ahead for replacement of mission-critical parts
Identification of mission critical parts that need replacing can sometimes feel like a plate-spinning exercise with no formula or strategy applied to it.

However, by sticking with tried-and-tested practices, such as the stocking of parts that are replaced regularly and referrals to prior purchase reports, parts managers have a solid chance at being able to replace mission-critical parts quickly and efficiently. Keeping a clean inventory system using industrial storage shelving makes taking stock and seeing supply levels easy.

If this is done regularly, parts managers can gain the experience that makes it easier to identify which mission-critical parts need ordering.

It’s also worth noting which application-specific parts are likely to have higher replacement rates in a specific operating environment. Bearings, gaskets, and seals will need replacing more often when used in salt-water environments, for example.

2. Think outside the box to ensure quick delivery
To quickly acquire parts, parts managers should do what they can to ensure they work with maximum flexibility.

Investigate whether it’s possible to see if there’s another truck to temporarily take a part from until a new one arrives. Check whether the part may come in an assembly you can order quickly.

In this day and age, fleet managers are now advised to aim for same-day availability rather than a next-day service. Stocking parts locally whenever you can will make this goal far easier and help you to avoid unnecessary downtime while waiting for mission-critical parts. Storing these important parts on industrial metal shelving means you also won’t incur any lost time looking for valuable equipment once it arrives.

3. Take advantage of web-based parts management software
Web-based parts management software and reporting tools are becoming more common throughout the logistics industry.

This software can ensure transparency in dialogue between manufacturers, dealers and customers – and makes it easier to monitor whether parts are stocked optimally.

The dashboard typically displays real-time meter readings and fleet expenses, as well as snapshots of what parts may be needed now or in the future.

4. Use paperless work orders
Paperless work orders can improve the speed and accuracy of your operations to the point where you wonder what you ever did without them.

By barcoding all equipment, with QR or PDF417 labels for example, technicians can scan goods and the appropriate information will be automatically populated on their digital work order.

Whereas paper work orders could often take two weeks to complete, it’s not uncommon for these digital orders to be completed in a couple of days.

5. Offer certified technical training
Certified technical training can reduce problems such as over-use of spare parts or improper forklift operations. These errors can result in additional downtime, maintenance and financial outlay for your operation. Proper training can ensure that spare parts are placed correctly on warehouse rack shelvingso that employees can quickly and easily find the items they need.

By offering proper training, parts managers will not only save on these factors, they’ll also increase the likelihood of operators being able to spot abnormal orders when overseeing their weekly stock order reports, allowing them to make more cost-efficient orders in the future.

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