Spare parts lurking in corners? Let CMMS track them down

Companies spend a bundle on inventory management software to avoid overstocks and outages. But maintenance teams have a friend in CMMS.

04/01/2013



Your spare parts inventory is out of whack. Anytime a machine goes down and you go to grab a replacement part it’s either out of stock or on a shelf in Des Moines plant; your plant is in Pittsburgh. What’s more it always seems to happen on a Friday and the part won’t ship ‘til Monday!

Companies spend a bundle on inventory management software to avoid overstocks and outages. But maintenance teams have a friend in CMMS when it comes to avoiding the same problems with replacement parts inventories. Take your cues from a CMMS user at a Midwest packaging manufacturer, but get organized first.

The company’s spare parts inventory for 900 pieces of equipment was in shambles. Records showed parts were in stock, but the shelves were bare or re-orders went unchecked for parts already stocked in other plants. One time the packaging plant lost hours of production time looking for parts the maintenance tech thought were in stock but weren’t, which cost several thousand dollars in labor and lost revenue.

In fact, 2,500 SKUs in replacement parts were scattered throughout 15 to 20 “satellite” stock rooms and hidden in cabinets that were essentially “off the grid.” A machine would break down and the part was nowhere to be found. Reports calculated spare parts at $150,000 but with duplicates uncovered in all plant locations, inventory added up to $900,000! So not only were parts hard to find, overstocking was out of control.

Eventually the company purchased a CMMS package. After entering all equipment and component data into the CMMS, the company turned next to inventory control. They hunted down every spare part in every location and got a clear picture of overages and outages.

Next, using CMMS, the company consolidated parts down to two locations and the maintenance team was able to monitor usage, ensure proper stocking levels, and even prevent theft. CMMS helped the staffers set up safe levels and trigger automatic e-mail notifications when parts fell below reorder points. Then they ordered just enough parts to restore safe levels. Also work orders listed requisite parts on repaired machines.

With good detective work you may uncover parts lurking in corners. Next step is to evaluate your CMMS to ensure your spare parts inventory is properly organized. You never know, you could eliminate thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs.



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
High-performance buildings; Building envelope and integration; Electrical, HVAC system integration; Smoke control systems; Using BAS for M&V
Pressure piping systems: Designing with ASME; Lab ventilation; Lighting controls; Reduce energy use with VFDs
Smoke control: Designing for proper ventilation; Smart Grid Standard 201P; Commissioning HVAC systems; Boilers and boiler systems
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software
Integrating BAS, electrical systems; Electrical system flexibility; Hospital electrical distribution; Electrical system grounding
Cannon Design’s blog is a place for the many voices of the firm to share thoughts and news related to current projects...
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.