One of the keys to running a business efficiently is performing routine maintenance on equipment. To do this, you will need to have the correct tools and parts on hand. However, when is the correct time for maintenance to send in orders to suppliers for more tools and parts? To help, below is a list of five things to consider first.
What Does Your Inventory Management Software Say?
Today, many businesses have integrated software into their inventory management procedures. This software is widely available and often comes as part of more extensive asset management software packages. If this is the case, you should have the software set up to track the use of parts and tools to immediately alert you when to put orders in. The orders could even be made automatically by the software.
Do You Have a Relationship with Suppliers?
Another issue comes into play when a company doesn’t have a firm plan for how to efficiently replace parts and tools as needed. A manager shouldn’t be forced to spend much time browsing the web and making purchases for things needed on a routine basis. Instead, relationships should be forged with firms to expedite the process to make sure it doesn’t interrupt workflow. For example, if you constantly need new washers, you could start a relationship with a manufacturer like Phoenix Specialty that provides same day shipping of washers to businesses.
Is It the Right Time to Order Replacements?
The key to properly managing inventory is the ability to know when to order more. If you order right before you run out of parts, you will be saved from the expense of not having what you need. However, if you order too early, you could be over-stocked. This could needlessly add to your expenses. According to a report on North American industry, one square foot of warehouse space can cost over $5. To solve this problem, make sure you keep track of the age of the components you are already using, your current and future workflow and your inventory so you can make orders in the appropriate time frame.
Quality over Quantity
As far as inventory management goes, quality can certainly save you money. If a part is of a higher quality, it has a better chance of lasting longer. On the other hand, cheap parts tend to wear out and break quickly. Do the math. If it saves you more in the long run, always go for higher quality components.
Replacement Versus Upgrading
In regards to the tools that you need, it isn’t always the best choice to go for exact replacements. Industrial technology is always improving and evolving. If there are newer tools or models available that can do the job better and more efficiently, it would be wise to investigate the possibility of upgrading.
Overall, inventory management is very important to running a successful business in any industry. Make sure your inventory management policies help your company run more smoothly as opposed to eating up time and money.