Spare parts management is integral to an organized, orderly, and efficient inventory system. Keeping a comprehensive catalog of the plant’s spare parts and tools enables personnel to locate the parts immediately and keep management aware of what needs to be added to the list for regular equipment maintenance or replacements.
Have an Operating Strategy
The most efficient way to good spare parts management is to have an operating strategy. This should be the first act in every inventory preparation. The system will ensure that a company or organization can appropriately dispense resources where they are needed to maintain the plant’s infrastructure. Having a roadmap or a plan for maintaining the equipment and its parts helps you determine which parts should have priority.
Standardize Your Work Orders
A work order process determines how parts are issued and ensures that all parts remain accounted for. It helps personnel decide which parts were used, when, and where. From here, the inventory can track which parts are running out and need replenishment. Spare parts management calls for monitoring hundreds, possibly thousands of parts. Standardizing the work order system ensures everything stays accurate.
Make Sure All Lead Times are Comfortable
One of the chief troubles of replacing spare parts is the lead time, especially for highly-specialized industrial machinery that requires custom parts. When replenishing parts supplies, make sure that the protocol calls for a comfortable lead time that guarantees you’ll always have the part on hand while the new components are on their way to you. This ensures that even during incidents of sudden machine failure, there will always be a part to use to fix it.
Use Reliable Suppliers
For organizations that heavily rely on specific machinery components, it’s crucial to get trustworthy, reliable spare parts suppliers that deliver on time. You don’t want to be caught relying on only one supplier who may not get the parts delivered on time. Have multiple options if you can, and leverage sales and maintenance records to determine if you can trust the supplier.
Having the right parts can mean the difference between plant operations going smoothly or many hours of productivity (and therefore thousands, even millions, of dollars) lost. Spare parts management keeps things working like a well-oiled machine.
KC Supply Co knows the importance of maintaining your industrial equipment. Visit KCSupply.com to find resources on maintenance, plant safety, and more.