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Storeroom Management Infographic -

Picture this and see if it is a situation you’ve been there before:

It’s a Monday morning, the Safety meeting has been completed, and your guys are going through their first round of PM’s. All of the sudden, the radio explodes with chatter. A key machine has crashed – no one knows why – and your day, and quite possibly your week, has already turned sideways.

We’ve all been there, right? This occurs in every plant to some degree. However, as data has proliferated smarter decisions are being made when it comes to maintenance reliability to limit these catastrophes. KPI’s such as the ones below are helping manufacturers improve how their maintenance department drives up-time:

  • Capacity Utilization
  • Overall Equipment Effectiveness
  • Schedule Attainment
  • Percentage of Emergency Work Orders

Increasing Maintenance Reliability through Storeroom Management

As the true costs of these metrics are understood, even more investment is being made into reliability. If maintenance knows when to change out that wearing belt, to re-lubricate that bearing, or if they can use an infrared camera to see where heat is building, they can take the necessary actions to prevent a major downtime event.

One question that is often overlooked is if the other areas of the plant have the processes in place to support a focus on reliability. The storeroom is one area that is often overlooked, and a reliability program will be limited in its success if the storeroom is in disarray. According to Efficient Plant,

“50% of downtime can be attributed to insufficient spares, while more than 60% of spares are classified as inactive, excess or obsolete. In more organizations, maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) spares range from 15–25% of carrying costs, so stocking inactive, excessive or obsolete spares creates unnecessary costs for maintenance departments.”

Thinking back to our opening example, the amount of downtime taken is greatly reduced if the needed replacement part is in stock. Fill Rate for Increasing Maintenance Reliability through the Storeroom - MartinSupply.comThe same data driven approach that works in production and maintenance can be applied to storerooms. Here are a few metrics to track to see if your storeroom management is enabling maintenance success:

Fill Rate – This is a measurement of part availability at the time it’s needed. Each time a part is requested from the storeroom, either a disbursement is completed or a stock out should be recorded. So if 10 different parts are needed to complete a job, and 9 are available, that results in a fill rate of 90%.

Cycle Count Accuracy – Assuming that cycle counting is being performed, which not everyone does, then Cycle Count Accuracy is a leading indicator for fill rate. If the system has accurate on hand data that is confirmed through cycle counts then it is much less likely that a part will be unavailable when it is needed.

Critical Spares – Having the critical parts identified is an important step to increasing reliability, especially in larger facilities. A few tips:

  • Mark critical spares in the system as well as on the shelf. By doing both the buyers and attendants can keep an eye on the most important parts, and if something is out of line it can be taken care of quickly.
  • Inexpensive parts can be critical. How often does it happen that you have the fixed asset in stock but are missing something simple like a fuse or filter? If the asset is part of the value stream and will not run without the part that makes it critical, regardless of if it’s $2 or $20,000.
  • Physically inspect the parts. Some critical spares will sit for years before they’re used. PM’s should be established to make sure motors are rotated, cylinders are stored properly, and no expiration dates have past.

Plan for Every Part – Parts should be tied in to specific Bill of Material tables, so that there is no question what parts go where. Keep your data clean and know what goes where.

Martin specializes in implementing an integrated supply storeroom management program that drive improvements that are needed to support a healthy predictive maintenance program. Click here to learn more or to contact us for an assessment.