3 Ways To Improve Maintenance Spare Parts Management

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The Hidden Costs Of Maintenance Parts Management

parts managementManaging maintenance parts and supplies can be hard. This become a harder still if you have many types of equipment to maintain.

Each type of equipment will have its own unique set of parts and supplies for corrective and preventive maintenance.

Equipment spares can also be quite expensive and add significantly to the maintenance budget.

In addition keeping an adequate stock on hand of different types parts & supplies will also add to your maintenance budget requirements.

How Can You Improve Maintenance Spare Parts Management

1) Identify Parts & Supplies Used

Identify the parts & supplies required for different maintenance tasks. Try to estimate items and quantities needed over the next few months based on the equipment preventive maintenance schedules. This will help you manage inventory requirements and costs better. Holding inventory you do not need for several months adds to costs.

2) Use Just In Time Inventory Management

Depending on your suppliers (vendors) you can explore use of just in time inventory. This means you order & get parts just before maintenance jobs are to be done. The trick is to avoid job delays because parts are not available when you need them. Depending on the suppliers your costs for certain parts may be much higher if you want just in time inventory. But this is often less than the costs due to lost production or cascading equipment failures because you have to wait for parts to complete maintenance!

3) Use Reliable Suppliers

Poor quality parts can result in early failures and more maintenance work. Use your maintenance records to identify suppliers of quality parts. Corporate purchasing requirements may dictate your choice of suppliers. Still it can be possible to work with your purchasing department especially if you have statistics about vendor quality & reliability.

How Your Maintenance Management Software Can Help

Experts estimate that organizations can save between 5-10% on their yearly spare parts inventory costs with a maintenance management program aka CMMS software. Proper use of CMMS software reports and inventory management features can help reduce inventory carrying costs as well work order completion time.

For example with a CMMS you:

1. Will have parts usage and inventory reports.

Looks for parts & supplies usage history reports. With them you can better track inventory purchase & consumption over time. You will also get an idea of the costs and how much of your maintenance budget needs to be assigned for spares & supplies. Having too small a budget for spare parts & supplies means that work orders get delayed since you will not have the parts on hand. Having too large a budget for parts & supplies means that you will have too much inventory on hand. Many parts & supplies may expire or no longer be needed. Plus you have to make space for them and keep track of them. This money could be better spent elsewhere!

2. Find out how many parts of each type you will need for preventive maintenance in the future.

Use planning reports to calculate parts and quantities needed for future periods. This can help you apply for volume discounts when ordering spares and supplies. In addition it will make it easier to use just in time inventory since you will know in advance some of the items you will need.

3. Specify reorder levels when to restock items.

The maintenance management software can warn you when each part or spare falls below reorder levels. This means keeping less inventory on hand and saves costs in purchase & storage.

4. Can associate parts & supplies with equipment.

When equipment is retired you will be able to identify parts that can be disposed since they are no longer needed (see “Using Maintenance Software To Identify Equipment Needing Replacement“). This reduces your inventory carrying cost. You can free up money for your budget by selling or returning items that are no longer needed for maintenance.

5. Can review work orders reports to identify parts that fail frequently.

Look at work order reports and see if the same maintenance work needs to be done again and again. Also see if parts related problems were reported by maintenance technicians in the work order feedback. See if it was due to poor quality parts and tag good & bad suppliers.

Looking For CMMS Software?

Not happy with your current maintenance program? Want to see if another product can work better for you? You can get an online demo or download a free trial of our FastMaint CMMS software. FastMaint can help you with use the tips covered here to improve your spares & supplies management .

Free FastMaint CMMS Trial


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