Developing A Spare Parts Stocking Strategy, Where Do You Begin?


Why do you need a spare parts stocking strategy?

Take a look at your data, talk to your maintenance, reliability, warehouse, engineering, procurement teams and ask the what challenges they face during their work, and identify of those challenges how many pertain to a ‘spare part’. You will notice over 80% of their challenges would revolve around a ‘spare part’. So, if you see any of the following challenges, then there is good reason to get a spare parts stocking strategy in place.

  • From the data you have, can you say it is – accurate, complete, classified, and updated; sufficient to say ‘the data’ points to just one unique part, and there is no confusion? If that data is also possibly of another spare part then the description is not accurate, complete, classified, and updated.
  • Shortage of spare parts, material, causing operational delays?
  • Overstocking is causing excess working capital?
  • Do you spend a lot of time searching for ‘spare parts’, and even after finding them, is that the right part?

By analysis of the process documents prior to a spare parts stocking strategy, and by one-on-one conversations with the professionals across functions – purchase, maintenance, warehouse, reliability – the above-mentioned challenges were apparent in our two decades of experience.

Now that you have identified, ‘why you need a spare parts stocking strategy’, you then need to know ‘how to get a spare parts stocking strategy in place’. This decision is based on a few factors:

  • From an expertise perspective, do your teams know what parts and assets need to be repaired vs replaced.
  • Based on a decision to repair vs replace, will there be downtime? Sometimes even though the equipment is large, it may need to be replaced as compared to repair, as that would be more economical.
  • Is there an asset and parts criticality analysis done to support the decision?
  • Are those spares available, and what would be delivery lead time and, in if the asset is to be repaired, what is the repair time?

Getting all this information is the key to putting together a spare parts stocking strategy, and some of the process involved are:

  • analyze the existing documents, and spare parts data,
  • conduct in-person interviews, or workshops to identify gaps in stocking strategy
  • understand availability of internal inventory optimization expertise

This process could be same for both large and small manufacturing plants, with multiple locations across the globe.

Are you facing these aforesaid issues in your spare parts inventory? Talk to one of Inventory Optimization specialists today!

Talk to an Inventory Optimization specialist today!
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