Your Challenges: Parts Management
What is Parts Management Software?
Parts management software is software that enables organizations to better plan parts inventory for maintenance, manufacturing, and logistical functions. This is often important for companies with heavy logistics and R&D operations, although many other kinds of organizations use parts in day-to-day operations. This software may provide visibility over parts location and cost, among other data.
Parts inventory management may present many challenges to organizations. However, parts management software provides a chance to meet these challenges head-on.
Tracking Spare Parts Acquisition
Challenges with materials management can begin during the acquisition phase. Many organizations use spreadsheets or other basic tools to track material acquisition. These organizations often struggle to determine appropriate reorder points. This leads to ordering too many of one item and not keeping enough of others on hand.
Items that have a long order fulfillment lead time can exacerbate the issue. Manual records also make it difficult to track acquisition cost history and vendor sourcing.
Organizations that have frequent material replenishment may also struggle with data integrity. Many team members may update parts replenishment data. When many people are involved in record creation, standardizing data input is usually more difficult. That’s because spreadsheets often permit users to enter their own version of data into fields. It becomes impossible to generate meaningful reports on material utilization this way.
Organizing Parts Inventory
Spare parts are usually stored in shelves and bins. This means teams need to track these assets in complex, layered structures. But juggling location identification during a cycle count often leads to errors.
And it doesn’t help when the inventory audit is being conducted using a spreadsheet on a clipboard. This method requires manual entering audit results. This can compromise accuracy.
Some organizations need to group parts into kits referred to as a Bill of Material (BOM). As these assets become obsolete, BOM revisions may occur. Unfortunately, managing the BOM relationship can get very complicated on a spreadsheet.
Issuing parts can be a significant challenge. In some organizations, end users just grab whatever assets they need when they need it. So, to record utilization, inventory managers must try to keep up by constantly auditing stock levels. In this scenario, reporting is not reliable.
Spreadsheets can be better than nothing. Unfortunately, asset inventory from a spreadsheet is often inaccurate and cumbersome. Using a spreadsheet usually means relying on “stale” data and emails pinging back and forth.
Forms are often used to document when assets are issued and to whom. Organizations that require accountability may use paper sign-out sheets to document asset receipt. They complain that printing, signing, then scanning these sheets is inefficient and costly. Also, producing the signed records can be like looking for a needle in a stack of needles.
Many organizations need to record the reason a part was used. Some may be used for a project or a job. Others are consumed for a maintenance activity, and so must be associated with a work order. Some parts may need to be recorded as embedded into an end item.
Unfortunately, most basic tools don’t enable a natural way to record the utilization data. This means organizations often must try to play catch-up with utilization data. Managers try to recall and document the data after the transaction has already occurred. This leads to inaccuracies, and not to mention stress.
Generating reports for many inventory managers can be a project into itself. Reporting requires you to research, compile the data, then tease out the desired information into a report. Inventory managers admit this process can take hours to complete, depending on the complexity of the report.
Take Back Control of Your Inventory
Inventory managers shouldn’t have to live with the stress of always trying play catch up. Businesses shouldn’t have to endure the high cost of inefficient inventory controls.
Users should be able to record inventory transactions in real-time. Managers should be able to get reliable data. Teams can make informed decisions when empowered by reliable data. A modern asset management system can make this possible.
The eQuip system includes workflows, functionality, and reports that can modernize your approach to inventory control:
Manage reorder thresholds and the purchase request process
Automatically sync order dates, costs, description, quantity, and other details with your purchasing system
Standardize your data by maintaining a parts master catalog in eQuip
Track cost history for each part number
Organize your assets, online and offline
Easily locate parts, down to the exact shelf and bin
Complete inventory audits and cycle counts more quickly using a mobile app on smartphones, tablets, and scanners
Instantly compare BOM quantity requirements against on hand inventory to manage and track BOM versions
Issue items and track utilization
Capture approvals via email e-signatures instead of by hand
Keep everyone informed of parts request status with dashboard notifications
Ditch paper records. Auto-populate property issue and receipt forms
Maintain accountability. Associate transactions with any utilization reason such as work order, job number, or contract