Spare parts logistics
The prerequisite for a loyal, long-term customer relationship that is worthwhile for the company is a smooth interlocking of central processes. Spare parts logistics is of central importance here, as it should ensure that customers have access to the spare parts they need at all times. Particularly in the manufacturing industry and the skilled trades, it is essential to replace typical wear parts (which are worn, damaged or otherwise missing) promptly so that production processes, some of which are orchestrated down to the smallest part, can continue.
In plain language: Spare parts logistics thus encompasses both planning and execution and often IT-controlled monitoring of all material and information flows in the context of spare parts supply. Unlike its counterpart in production logistics, other dependencies and processes have to be taken into account here - the more diverse a company's spare parts catalog is and the longer spare parts logistics is carried out systematically, the more accurate forecasts can be made about the realistic demand for individual parts.
Challenges in modern spare parts logistics
The example of production machinery shows very clearly how central sound spare parts logistics are to the functioning of a customer company. As soon as the basic business (purchase and, if applicable, commissioning of the machine) has been completed, the focus shifts to spare parts supply and customer service (maintenance orders, etc.). The company must plan inventories in such a way that - measured against probable demand - readiness to deliver is ensured at all times. The challenge is to meet these high customer expectations while maintaining inventories with the lowest possible capital commitment.
Key issues in the planning of spare parts logistics:
- How high is the demand for individual or spare parts (categorized into A, B and C parts, if applicable)?
- When or in which time window are these spare parts typically requested by customers?
- Where and, above all, in what quantity do stocks have to be kept in order to be able to supply customers with spare parts as quickly as possible?
- Which spare parts are of primary or secondary importance for the customer, i.e. what is definitely needed to maintain production and what is of secondary importance. only necessary for the variety of products?
This means: Optimal spare parts logistics ensures perfect delivery quality, i.e. the ability to supply the requested spare parts in type and quantity as well as in a fully functional condition. This is particularly important because production processes are often paused at certain times (between shift changes, at night, on weekends, etc.), so that delivery promises to the customer must be absolutely reliable.
With the help of a modern inventory management system, companies are able to plan this economically relevant area of spare parts supply in such a way that a competitive advantage can be created.