Warehousing and manufacturing heavily rely on the timeliness and fluidity of critical operations. All components work together seamlessly to yield accurate and proper handling of goods. However, a warehouse’s smooth operation can be threatened by not having spare parts close at hand.
Warehouse manages often think they are cutting down costs by not having spare parts close-by. However, having spare parts on hand can be important in keeping the operation going. Let’s take a gander into the importance of stocking spare parts.
At What Cost?
Generally, people have two frames of mind when it comes to inventory spare parts stocking.
• The first and most common is that keeping spare parts on hand consumes money that could’ve been put to better use elsewhere.
• The other is escaping outrageous freight costs as you wait for spare parts ordered which leads to lost money and unnecessary downtime.
However, it is possible for a balance to exist between the two.
Stocking Critical Spare Parts on Hand
Relative to the size and complexity of your warehouse system, you may hold the potential of having a spare part inventory. However, you don’t necessarily have to keep spare parts for every item. You first need to identify the critical spare parts to stock, critical in the sense of:
• How quickly they constantly need to be used for repair? The rate of part replacements is different for every piece, and it would be prudent to know which items in your system wear down fast and have them on your critical spare part list.
• What is the impact of not having that spare part? Here you’ll have to take not of operating procedures and the impact they play in the warehouse operation. If the part lacking will halt your operation be halted or severely impair it, then it must go to the critical spare parts list. It should be ideal to have them at hand to limit the ensuing cascade.
• How long does the part take to arrive if requested? If you already experienced a long wait for delivery of a part after the initial order, then it would be ideal to stock these parts. However, you should still maintain the importance of the part. If it’s not that much required or essential, then you can overlook its urgency.
If you are seasoned warehouse operator or manager, take a look at historical data to formulate necessity and invest in inventory management of critical spare parts.
When designing an inventory management system or stocking spare parts, ensure you order common materials. For instance, if you are using 1 HP motors, it is recommended that you stock the same motors, even if 1/2 HP motors work in some cases. Moreover, first try to see if a part can be sent out for repair before getting a new one, or as you wait to get a new one already ordered.
Having a critical spare part inventory at hand can save you time and money and further reduce the cost of running a business.