From a young age, every girl dreams of somewhere in the future where she would also be wearing a beautiful white dress. Well, that dream came true for me.
A few months ago, I had to plan probably the biggest and best day of my life… my wedding day. As you can imagine, planning and preparation plays a big role in such an event. I started planning many months before the day. Booking our venue, flowers, décor, stationary, photographer, etc. Trying to think about everything that was necessary and plan it as good and precise as possible. I had all my ideas pinned to a mood board, thinking to myself “if my planning is this thorough, then nothing could go wrong”. Or this was what I thought at the time. Fast forward to four days before our wedding and suddenly, 70% of our vendors could not deliver on the day anymore! Now what?
Now you might ask me, why are you sharing this with us since we expected some blog on spare parts management? Well, the word planning brought the two together for me. In the world of spare parts, the demand patterns can vary from lumpy demand, few periods with zero demand to demand spikes. You can try your best to forecast to help predict the future demand and placing your orders accordingly. But there will always be unforeseen circumstances. The question you should ask is, how are you going to manage these unforeseen events and variables?
Know your pain points
It is important for us at Gordian Logistic Experts that our clients understand what type of obstacles they are facing, and what are the options on how they can manage and overcome those. Some companies do recognise obstacles like bad availability, too high operational costs, a lot of stock outs or too high inventory costs, but often do not have the knowledge or competence to control these factors effectively.
Closing the gap
This gap can be closed by empowering employees throughout the organisation and give a holistic understanding of the service supply chain and its actors. It is important for every discipline in an organisation to understand the bigger goal and where they do fit in that picture. Therefore, collaboration between disciplines is crucial.
The first step to close this gap is to investigate if all foundations are in place and to identify shortcomings. Master data management, categorization of spare parts and how to develop supply chain plans per category, warehouse and demand management, as well as inventory control are some of the points of attention. Foundations are critically important not only for effective spare parts planning and management, but it also forms the basis for inventory optimisation.
In spare parts optimisation, we strive to create a perfect balance between spare parts availability, working capital, and operational costs. This is always a challenging topic in any maintenance environment.
Classification of your spare parts is an important concept, and we investigate the most used inventory control techniques. The importance of your spare parts management strategy and the shop floor processes required to control the store such as re-order levels and re-order quantities are key points in the optimisation process.
Was I trained well before my wedding?
To back track to my wedding story, luckily, I did my research properly in the beginning and already had the contact details for alternative vendors who I could call immediately. In the end, my wedding day was beautiful despite all the uncertainties that came with it. My point is, that in the spare parts world you need to plan with the right strategies and methodologies AND know how to counteract when something does not play out as you planned. Training courses can provide you with the knowledge and techniques to learn exactly that. When I started to organise my wedding day, I knew from learnings in the past that I should also plan for the unforeseen disruptions – and luckily I did. Now I hope that I don’t need to plan such a similar event for myself anymore, but the learnings and the experience also served as a practical training in itself.