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Inventory Questions, Stock Answers
March 15-17, 2005
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How can inventory control and purchasing assist the maintenance mission? According to Mike Cowley, president of CE Maintenance Solutions and a presenter at the upcoming Maintenance Solutions Expo, success is a matter of prioritizing.
“Inventory management has to be a high priority, especially as we move into tighter financial controls in the facilities marketplace,” he says. “Just like head count and other capital expenses, inventory always has a bulls-eye on it because of the money involved.”
A maintenance manager who carves $20,000 out of $100,000 in inventory can be a hero to the organization, Cowley says, but he adds that analysis is critical to reducing inventory that is in the warehouse.
“A well-stocked shop has everything needed to get machinery up and running, lower the cost of maintenance and ensure a high-quality operation,” he adds, noting that doesn’t necessarily mean that one of everything is on the shelf. Nor does it mean going without equipment just because of the expense. If a critical part is needed to keep operations going, it makes sense to invest in warehousing it.
That is why Cowley says that the maintenance staff must communicate with the financial department about the inventory-management process. Maintenance managers who can demonstrate how keeping key items in inventory actually can keep costs down by maintaining operating efficiencies are more successful in obtaining a well-stocked and efficient warehouse. By working together to identify specific inventory needs, the maintenance and financial departments can enhance both facility performance and the organization’s bottom line.
“It’s a matter of finding the right balance,” he says. “Ask the questions: What parts do you need, and for what reason?”
Cowley recommends stocking what he calls critical spares: those components needed to keep equipment such as chillers and boilers operational. But parts such as a spare bathroom fan that can be ordered and delivered within days might not be as critical.
Cowley will present a session at the Maintenance Solutions Expo titled “Maintenance Inventory and Procurement” on Wednesday, March 15, at 9 a.m. For more information on this and other MS Expo sessions, go to www .MaintenanceSolutionsExpo.com
Options revealed: Newly announced Additions to MS Expo conference schedule
Four new conference sessions have been added to the Maintenance Solutions Expo schedule. These seminars address key issues in the maintenance management marketplace, and like all MS Expo conferences, they are free to attend.
Tuesday, March 15 at 10 a.m.
T2.09 — “Protecting Your Landscape Investment,” presented by Kevin O’Donnell, superintendent of grounds at Villanova University. The landscape represents a significant investment, gives that special first impression and is one of the only aspects of a facility that can “grow” in value. This presentation is for the facilities professional who wants to maximize and protect that investment. Specific landscape operational procedures that can save money and promote healthy growth of your landscape investment are the main focus of this presentation.
Wednesday, March 16 at 9 a.m.
W1.09 — “Major League FM Via Minor League Approaches,” presented by Bradley Provancha, CHE, CPM, Defense Facilities Directorate, Washington Headquarters Service, The Pentagon. How do they perform facility management (FM) at the Pentagon? Learn how they accomplish Major League FM using basic FM approaches practiced in coming up in the Minor League. Learn how to accomplish Big City FM using Small Town FM techniques. Learn how the Pentagon simplifies and accomplishes a formidable task using FM basic practices, and how we align our operations with our strategic objectives. This session will address best practices, how to optimally leverage our resources, and how to successfully operate and maintain a building undergoing a long-term, major renovation.
Thursday, March 17 at 1:10 p.m.
R2.08 — “Holistic Vision Casting for Facilities Managers,” presented by Kevin Folsom, director of facilities and plant operations, Dallas Theological Seminary. Institutional facilities planning require long-range holistic vision. What do you do if your institution’s leadership hands are tied and cannot make clear plans beyond five years? This session will provide a behind-the-scenes, facilities-management look at how how keeping “the main thing” keeps us from getting too distracted from the pressure of non-essential areas fighting for our resources and attention. The session includes a case study on how this perspective was used to win money for facilities improvement. The presentation also covers the following areas: preventive maintenance, labor allocation, benchmarking, facilities condition index, capital renewal, connecting to the mission, and master planning.
Thursday, March 17 at 9 a.m.
R1.10 — “Understanding the New Energy Codes and Their Impact on Facility Lighting,” presented by Carl Watson, P.E., consulting engineer, Applied Energy Solutions. Gain an understanding of the new lighting and electrical provisions of the IESNA/ASHRAE /ANSI Standard 90.1, as well as discuss its consequences for facility lighting during both renovations and new construction. Additional topics include mandatory requirements and two alternative prescriptive-path approaches for code compliance on interior and exterior lighting. Emphasis will be given to how Standard 90.1 integrates into the fabric of the International Building Code regulations and the International Energy Conservation Code. We’ll provide a comparison between IECC and ASHRAE requirements.