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Inventory Management Best Practices

inventory, inventory management, mro, maintenance and operations, repair parts

This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is achieving best practices in inventory management.

Managers can achieve materials-management excellence by executing best practices in supply-chain and inventory management that support organizational objectives.

The principle goal of every organization is to manage facilities at the lowest cost in the least possible time. Organizations are finding that effective supply-chain management and an efficient storeroom operation to support maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) are critical elements that either make them competitive or contribute to greater inefficiency. A storeroom that supports MRO activities with the right parts, in the right place, at the right time drives the organization's operational efficiency.

The main objectives of inventory management, which includes the product-specification process, are:

Reducing repair-cycle times. Managers can do this by establishing and improving lead times for replacement parts and equipment. One strategy is to look for local sources of essential parts and equipment as a way to reduce repair and transportation time. A major contributor to efficient repairs is the process of packaging and delivering products. Delays with this process alone can increase direct labor costs for front-line technicians by up to 50 percent.

Reducing inventory. A typical storeroom operation has 5-12 percent part duplication, meaning the storeroom has the exact same item but with different part numbers or descriptions. Also, more than 60 percent of items that should be stocked at minimum/maximum levels actually are greater than the maximum levels.

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