Spare Part Management


Spare Part Management

September 15, 2021

Companies always strive to reduce the rising operating cost and have a control over it. And for that, they need to maintain an effective flow of inventory. Companies in the manufacturing industry struggle to maintain an effective flow of spare parts due to the prevalent fear that stocking spares may fuel the already surging operating costs.

Effective spare parts management practice is peremptory for the success of any manufacturer unit or a company or a maintenance team. As it can lead to more effective and efficient inventory storage and can strengthen the supply chain by reducing the shortage of parts when you need them most. Which in turn reduces the unplanned downtime and unforeseen costs.

An accurate spare parts inventory management system not just allows the parts department to be more proactive but also more responsive to the plant. Managing spares is not a one-time initiative but a continuous process. There are several ways to achieve it.

  • Systematic identification: Parts that are purchased for a single time use in a particular process, if remain unused, should be added to the inventory control system and placed into parts inventory, and checked whether they can be used somewhere else, rather than storing them off.
  • Bill of Materials (BOM): Timely addition, change, or removal of inventory from a BOM should be made, as it makes ordering parts and placing work orders much simpler.
  • Centralization: Consolidating all the parts inventory into a specific prime location, cannot just make the security easier but also ease the control of a massive volume of assets.
  • Location pinpoint: Ensure that the location of each SKU is documented to the lowest detail so that it is easier for the employees to locate when needed.
  • Work order process: It should be standardised so that it can result in an efficient way of working, with everyone following the same process flow.
  • Lead time: A thorough analysis of lead time is essential for obtaining the schedule and the volume of the parts that need to be stocked.
  • Risk calculation: In case of any breakdown, there may be several components which are still valuable for future usage. So, calculating the risk of failure and downtime and predicting the life cycle of spare parts can help in planning for spare part inventory.

These processes should be instituted to have a better control over spare parts inventory and provide fulfilment of work orders and other spare parts requests in a quick and more meticulous way. It can result in a tremendous amount of saving in the form of cost which can be diverted to other business functions that can strive your organization forward.