One key component of any parts inventory management system is knowing which parts you use frequently. One way to track parts use is through inventory management software. With computerized inventory records it is easy to track the cost and types of parts used by each piece of plant equipment.
Parts become obsolete for several reasons, including parts that are eliminated by equipment modifications. About once a year, prepare a list of parts that are obsolete or have been unused for the entire year. After removing insurance spares from the list, divide it into sections according to the supplier of the parts. Some vendors may be willing to give you some form of credit by accepting the parts back into their inventories..
Many producers of concrete and concrete products have dealt with the same parts supplier for years, establishing a solid relationship. Other producers are not so lucky. To help find a reliable parts supplier, first contact equipment manufacturers and discuss your needs with them. They often can help resolve problems by recommending a good supplier. Things to look for when selecting a parts supplier include the size and type of inventory, their hours of operation, and their willingness to accommodate emergency requests after hours.
Take a close look at how parts are stored. Identify those parts that can rust, delaminate, dry out, or be damaged by plant dust and temperature and humidity extremes. If necessary, set up a separate storage area for these parts that is climate-controlled and protected from plant dust.
Common-use hardware are those items that are readily available, require short lead times when purchasing, have multiple sources, low unit costs and are widely used throughout the plant. One method of effectively managing common-use hardware is known as single sourcing. This practice uses a single supplier as a source for most common-use items.