Too much or not enough? – The optimum stock-keeping strategy
You want to save time and money? Especially in urgent cases, like a malfunction or a standstill?
In order to keep their production operations running smoothly, clients have to be able to react swiftly. But it’s not only in the event of malfunctions that the availability of spare parts is vital. When a maintenance job’s been scheduled, it’s vital to be able to work fast, with no complications. If parts have to be replaced, it’s imperative to act flexibly, so as to enable production to be resumed as quickly as possible. It’s crucial here to check the warehouse stock regularly for optimum parts availability. Because the absence of important stock items is the worst-case scenario for every producer.
In order to prevent this, KRONES is offering its Stock-Keeping Package, which provides the client with professionalised inventory management. The more intelligently the warehouse is stocked, the better the machines will be safeguarded. This firstly leads to high levels of parts availability for proactive, regular maintenance – and secondly minimises the risk of unplanned standstills. Here, the Stock-Keeping Package constitutes a customised, automated solution.
In an interview, Andreas Schneider and Jan Kasprzyk gave me a deeper insight into the Stock-Keeping Package, spotlighting its benefits by adducing some pertinently illustrative examples, and providing detailed explanations of the process specifically developed for it.
Andreas Schneider explains:
With the Stock-Keeping Package, we aim to provide the client with a responsively customised solution for optimised, transparent inventory management – not in order to cover a scheduled overhaul, though, but to enable the client to access the right parts as quickly as possible for upcoming maintenance work or unexpected malfunctions. The aim is then to eliminate the possibility of long delivery and waiting times.
In order to achieve this, we have in the last few years developed a concept that assures an automated, transparent selection of parts – what is called the Spare Parts Availability Concept, or SPAC for short. This consists of four key elements: transparent stock-keeping proposals, proactive stock-keeping, synchronisation of the warehousing stages, and a globalised transport concept.
First of all, we identify the reserve, wear and service parts (RWS parts) required for the equipment, and then the stock quantity of identical materials in different machines, lines and facilities is adjusted to a fit-for-purpose level.
Jan Kasprzyk elucidates:
I should like to explain the transparent stock proposal by outlining the process we have developed for this purpose: special mathematical algorithms enable us first of all to compute the automated, transparent selection of spares from our existing database of parts installed, failure probabilities and characteristics. In order to cover local conditions and needs as well, we have set up a reference pool, which is updated every 3 months to take due account of any new machines delivered. Krones uses these data as a basis for the client’s packages, and simultaneously for proactive stocking of Krones’ regional warehousing facilities. The aim is to have the requisite parts in stock both at the client’s warehouse and at Krones’ facilities as well.
The client then receives detailed data, such as the quantity of parts installed, enabling him to fine-tune his planning to optimum effect. The results are offered to the client in the form of predefined packages.
Andreas Schneider explains these packages as follows:
We offer the package optimally tailored to the client’s needs in different variants:
- BASIC covers the minimum requirements, and offers a high level of availability coupled with a low stock level
- COMFORT provides a higher level of availability, based on a larger number of different parts, and reduces the frequency of ordering thanks to larger batch sizes.
There is, of course, an option for manual modification to bring the stock in line with the client’s budget.
After being determined, the data are then presented in a list specifically tailored to the client’s machinery pool.
In addition, Andreas Schneider and Jan Kasprzyk explain that a stock-keeping strategy can function only in conjunction with professionalised transportation logistics.
The client has an option for choosing between different transportation times – Service Level 1, which corresponds to express dispatch, Service Level 2 (fixed-time delivery), Service Level 3 (standard dispatch) or even an on-board courier service (OBC). Krones always keeps the client informed about delivery times and costs.
To sum up, it can be stated that by means of the Stock-Keeping Package Krones is replacing reactive by proactive parts availability, and thus offering transparent inventory management proposals. Thanks to Krones’ long years of experience, the client is able to obtain a customised solution tailored to his own specific needs. Besides improved cost-efficiency by virtue of low capital lockup, the client also gets enhanced reliability for his production operation, thanks to fast availability of spare parts.