Anyone working in the transport, hospital, manufacturing, or oil and gas industries will know that building an asset is only one part of the work process. The other half consists of maintaining those assets over some time to ensure their continued operation and longevity.
Extending the lifespan of assets (such as facilities, machines, plants, or manufacturing lines) will, of course, require scheduled maintenance checks. Thus, routine and preventive maintenance is vital to prevent equipment downtime and losses to productivity. For this purpose, companies will need to have spare parts on hand to replace any ailing assets (or part of an asset).
These spare parts are part of a company’s inventory, typically stored in a warehouse or other storage facility. Managing how and where these spare parts are located, moved, and used necessitates some form of the inventory management system, which brings some organization and coherence to this process. This sort of management system should track the current number of stored spare parts and their location and catalog them according to how frequently they are used.
Managing your inventory should not be thought of as an unimportant task. Instead, companies need to devise good management systems as they are crucial for preventive maintenance and for the maintenance team tasked with carrying out these tasks (as the maintenance department needs to know in advance if the required parts are in stock and their location).
What Is A Spare Parts Inventory Management Software?
Spare parts inventory management software can assist a company with overall inventory control. Features of this software include current part numbers, where they are located, and current demand levels. Rather than relying on paper or Excel spreadsheets to manage inventory, it can automate many aspects of inventory management, which can save your business time and boost productivity. This system can be supported on a mobile device and should be user-friendly to ensure employee uptake.
This type of software is essential to support maintenance management. It is primarily used to ensure that the correct parts are in the right place at the right time in the valid quantity when maintenance or emergency repairs are being conducted.
Storage of spare items is not a free or easy endeavor. Parts have to be initially purchased, which could prove wasteful, and they also have to be stored, which adds to the overall cost. A shortage of parts is potentially dangerous. Thus, to help accurately gauge the required number of parts for maintenance, the software, as mentioned earlier, is business.
Let us now discuss what this type of software can do in particular.
What Does A Parts Inventory Management Software Do For A Business?
Enlists available Parts
When receiving spare parts, it is essential to first assign a barcode to each piece required (this will also include the location of the part); these recorded items are now part of the spare parts inventory. Rather than have to search for these parts come maintenance time manually, inventory software will tell you where these parts are located and the quantity of these parts, all in the space of a few seconds.
Creates a purchase order
As you go through your inventory, it can be a hassle to constantly check when a part must be re-ordered due to low stock. Thankfully, this software can be used to automatically create purchase orders once a designated part is running low.
Systemic check-in and check out of parts
Unsurprisingly, stocking inventory requires significant data inputs and subsequent management of this data. Any incoming inventory item will be assigned a barcode (QR codes can also be used) and added to the system. These parts will be checked out using the same barcode. Inventory software is also capable of automatically checking out parts to work orders.
Keeps a record of parts adjustment
With this type of software, it is also possible to access a part record easily using its barcode; when any adjustments or maintenance has been made, this information will also be kept on record and can be easily accessed for future maintenance.
Enlists alternatives of different parts in case of emergency
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, unplanned equipment downtime will happen. In these scenarios, emergency repair is required to keep downtime to a minimum. At times, however, the needed part is not in stock; thankfully, inventory and maintenance software can be used to see which alternative spare parts are available as a substitute. This will reduce downtime and save time as the company will not be waiting for the needed part to arrive.
Convenient parts transfer
Perhaps one of the most significant reasons to use this type of software is ‘parts transfer.’ As spare parts are stored in multiple locations, inventory software can be used to request that inventory be moved from one location to another; it will also automatically update the inventory levels (and, if needed, create a purchase order if a reorder point has been reached).
7 Advantages Of A Parts Inventory Management system
Incorporating inventory and maintenance software systems is essential to reducing unplanned downtime and machine breakdown. Locating specific parts for either preventive maintenance or breakdown maintenance can be frustrating, especially if these parts are stored in different locations. With the help of software, it is possible to locate the required parts quickly; easy identification of these parts is also possible. This will save costs for a company in both the short and long term.
As an example, when the Non-Stop Group helped oil and gas companies, downtime was reduced by over 20% because assets could be easily located after they were equipped with a barcode identification system.
Minimum Balance Risk
We mentioned earlier that storing inventory is not free. Purchasing either too much or too little stock comes with its own set of challenges. Inventory software can support strategic stocking by displaying current demand and forecasting which parts will be needed based on historical trends. Thus, this software minimizes inventory costs and helps a company stop wasting money on purchasing unnecessary aspects.
Increase in work Efficiency
If your company uses a decentralized manual process to track inventory, lots of time will be spent on managing this process rather than focusing on inventory optimization. Additionally, this cumbersome process is not helpful to the maintenance team. The maintenance team can quickly respond to any maintenance issues; more time can also be spent on inventory optimization.
Better Inventory Tracking
While inventory tracking might sound simple in theory, designing a user-friendly and easy-to-use system that allows you to track parts and track inventory is not so simple. Using parts inventory software makes it possible to keep spare parts in accessible and convenient locations; it will also help the maintenance department and technicians know how much stock they have. This is crucial for reducing downtime/maintenance tasks and for ensuring that company operations run smoothly.
The NonStop Group has also helped manufacturing companies. One challenge facing these companies was unexpected downtime due to various inefficiencies stemming from asset management; with the help of the NonStop Group, these manufacturing companies saw uptime improve by 39% and a noticeable increase in productivity.
Coordinated global supply chain
Having enough spare parts inventory is dependent on the robustness and effectiveness of your supply chains. Remember that a crucial component of supply chains is the relationship between the vendor (who supplies the spare parts) and the company that needs them; inventory software can assist with both of these issues. With this sort of software, it is possible to obtain instant insight into the state of your supply chains, including potential bottlenecks, lead times, and any issues that may affect your vendor’s operations.
Maximum cost savings
We have mentioned that spending money on spare parts is a considerable cost for a company. It is possible to optimize your inventory levels with the help of some of the features of inventory software; these features include indicating current demand and aggregating historical data trends to show when you need to buy more stock. Inventory software also enables the centralization of inventory operations at a company – this further eliminates inefficiencies and thus saves your company money.
A more Automated and Modern Approach
Using inventory software is essential to the success of modern companies. With convenient features such as creating and monitoring a work order and tracking inventory levels, this software is ideal for both maintenance management and the maintenance department. Not only will this automated and modern approach save costs, but it can also boost productivity and lay a solid foundation from which to expand your business.
How To Plan For A Parts Inventory Management Strategy?
The foundation for an effective parts management system is to have a reliable asset tagging strategy in place. To take this first step, be sure to speak to the NonStop Group today – who can provide you with a good management strategy and more!