It’s generally a good idea to cut costs, but there is such a thing as taking the idea too far. Too many companies make the mistake of trying to keep operating costs down by purchasing parts only when needed instead of keeping an inventory of critical spare parts on hand. The savings from this strategy are small, however, and the potential costs are rather high. In fact, proper critical spare parts management is crucial to both a plant’s success and the success of its manager.

What is Critical Spare Parts Management?

Critical spare parts management is the structuring and systemization of how spare parts are handled in order to reduce down time and manage the inventory efficiently. Critical spare parts are, of course, those parts which would, if broken, stop production or at least seriously slow it down.

A Critical Key to Success

Managers who react to equipment failure instead of anticipating it risk serious down time. There’s not only the issue of the time it takes to pick up the replacement parts or have them shipped, but there’s also the question of whether or not the supplier even has them in stock. A plant that’s closed for days waiting on a critical part to be restocked and shipped is a plant that’s had a serious production loss. It could even lead to the loss of customers, and that is the kind of problem a plant might not recover from.

How Can Critical Spare Parts Management Make My Operations More Efficient?

If you want to boost your operational efficiency, follow this advice:

  • Calculate the risk for every important piece of equipment in the plant. Estimate how much losing a particular part would cost your plant per hour, and how long it would take to get a replacement, and make decisions on which parts to stock based on this.
  • Develop a thorough understanding of lead times for critical spare parts. Always keep critical replacements on hand for parts with long lead times.
  • Don’t except new machines from this rule. They fail too.

Don’t Wait Until it’s too Late

Contact MATE PCS┬átoday to learn how we can help you with your critical spare parts management needs. You’ll be glad you did.