One of the building blocks of your preventive maintenance plan, spare parts management keeps your equipment running as efficiently as possible. Spare part management involves minimizing the amount of capital blocked in inventory while ensuring the timely availability of spare parts. Having access to the right spare parts at the right time is crucial to maximizing equipment up time. Effective spare parts management also prevents you from losing hours of production time looking for parts you thought were in stock but weren’t.

Spare parts inventory control can be challenging, especially if you have many different types of equipment. After all, you need a unique set of spare parts to maintain each piece of equipment. Maintaining a well-stocked spare parts inventory can also be expensive, particularly if you hold onto inventory you don’t need for several months. The goal of spare parts management is striking a balance between carrying costs and spare parts availability, performance, and reliability.

Managing Inventory-Related Costs

There are various cost drivers that you must manage when it comes to spare parts inventory control, including the following:

  • Ordering – Every order you place costs you both time and money. For example, you must take the time to prepare purchase orders, process invoices, and issue payments.
  • Holding – Spare parts occupy space and cost you money, especially if space is at a premium.
  • Security – Depending on the inventory and its location, it might be necessary to invest in security equipment, such as cameras, security systems, and secure walls.
  • Information systems – Maintenance management systems are often used to manage spare parts inventory. There are costs associated with purchasing, implementing, operating, and upgrading such software.
  • Human resources – You may need people to manage storerooms and handle duties like receive, inspect, issue, and restock spare parts.

Carrying excess inventory can be costly. One way to reduce inventory levels is to use a CMMS/EAM to rank the critical of assets based on the consequences of their downtime. This will ensure that you expend a larger proportion of time, money, and resources on your most important assets. Once you determine what assets are critical, identify the spare parts that are required for their maintenance. Having a well-stocked inventory of spare parts for critical assets minimizes the risk of catastrophic failure.

Maintaining Spare Parts Stock

An effective spare parts management program helps you rotate spare parts, so they operate at full capacity for the life of an asset. If you aren’t getting the expected service life from spare parts, determine how they are being stored and maintained. The way that spare parts are stored and cared for can affect their shelf life, and storing spare parts improperly can lead to defects.

Maintenance managers must ensure that spare parts are protected from rust and corrosion, inspect spare parts for damage, and check to ensure that certain materials don’t dry out. Maintenance management systems can be set up to automatically generate notifications for spare parts inspections.

Why Use Maintenance Software for Spare Part Management?

Maintenance management systems can save you between 5% and 10% on annual spare parts inventory costs. Maintenance software can help you track inventory, identify parts that are no longer required, and determine when to restock items. You can use the software to monitor spare parts usage and stock levels as well as send automatic notifications when spare parts reach reorder points.

For more information about how maintenance management software can streamline your preventive maintenance plan and spare part management strategy, contact DPSI today or set up a free trial of our CMMS/EAM systems!

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