The replacement of parts plays a vital role in the smooth running of operations for any business. With customer expectations regarding availability and delivery of goods and services higher than ever, it is important to get the balance of spare part holdings right in order to remain competitive in the market.

Controlling Spare Parts Inventory To Maximise Warehouse Up-Time

Down-time caused by not holding a vital spare in inventory will cost money, time and possibly reputation, whilst overstocking of these parts will mean that valuable storage space is being unnecessarily taken up.

The Problem With Keeping Spare Parts in Stock

The main problem with holding an inventory of spare parts is that they take up valuable space that could be used for commercial goods. According to the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA), there is a critical lack of warehousing space in the UK at present and with land in key locations becoming ever more scarce, it is imperative that warehouses pay serious attention to how that space is being used.

Best Practice to Improve Uptime

Warehouse operators will need to categorise spare parts to ascertain how critical they are to the running of the business. Some spares that are required infrequently and have high availability, such as spares for used pallet racking in Ireland and other countries, can easily be obtained from Used pallet racking through suppliers. Other spare parts need to be held in stock at all times as they tend to wear out more regularly.

Once a spare parts list has been created and categorised, the business will then need to put in place solid maintenance practices which specify procedures for the acquisition of spares and MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) parts. Considerations such as availability and delivery times for parts must be factored into any such plans. They will also need to consider the cost of holding items in inventory versus buying them in as and when required, and historical data should be used to generate accurate forecasts.

External companies specialising in MRO and spare part management may be a good choice for businesses where up time is critical. These companies will utilise enterprise asset management software to drill down and understand the client’s points of vulnerability, as well as auditing existing inventory to allow better control, organisation and storage of the company’s spare parts.