Managing parts and equipment in one location is a hard enough task. Managing parts and equipment in multiple locations is infinitely more difficult.
If you’re like most companies, it’s a great feeling adding new locations; it’s a sure sign of successful growth.
However, with that exuberant feeling also comes the down side – the growing pains associated with setting up new facilities complete with larger amounts of inventory management.
To ensure your company’s successful growth, MC Global outline three key steps to take to make sure all your locations – particularly the new ones – are efficiently managing their parts and equipment operations and will continue to do so for many years to come.
Step 1: Location and Layout of Warehouse and Inventory
As in real estate, it’s all about location.
Many businesses spend vast amounts of money to make sure the location of their storefronts are in highly visible areas to attract customers, but neglect to think about where their warehouses are located.
Warehouses should be situated in highly accessible locations near main thoroughfares and major highways.
This connectivity not only reduces travel time and fuel, but it also saves on delivery charges made to and from warehouses.
Eg, opting for a location that is already on a main shipping route is a clever move because it will reduce cost and time in package delivery to your customers or affiliated companies.
As well as making sure your warehouse is located in the best possible location, the layout of inventory parts within your stockroom is of paramount importance when planning.
Think about the location, overall design and general theme of where parts are situated within your stockroom.
It pays to be consistent.
Even if your company houses stockrooms in multiple locations, if possible and practical, parts and components should have basically the same layout and be in the same location as your other stockrooms.
This will streamline part locating and make it easier for new employees being trained.
For example, if Stockroom A at the Toowoomba warehouse looks exactly the same as Stockroom B at the Rocklea location, then training new staff or sending existing employees to other stockrooms will make things easier for them; they’ll be totally familiar with the layout and operations. To find out more about how to standardize warehouse operations call MC Global on + 617 3303 0177.
Step 2: Streamline Multiple Inventory Locations
One of the best things you can do when expanding to multiple locations is to set processes in place for inventory activity.
The first guideline you should establish is how to replenish inventory.
When a particular item becomes low in stock, your first plan of attack may NOT be to rush out and purchase new items, but instead to look within your maintenance software to check whether your other stockrooms in close proximity have an overstock of this item.
If they do, it makes sense to pull inventory from this stockroom first before purchasing new parts.
This not only saves on purchase costs and shipping but also allows for a Last in First Out replenishment of parts.
Having parts sitting on shelves which may be two, there or even five years old could be counter-productive according to inventory best practice.
Establishing minimum, maximum and re-order points on inventory is another great way to managing multiple locations.
To avoid manually keeping an eye on these levels, it’s a good idea to establish parameters and notifications within the CMMS software letting you know when parts run low, especially critical parts.
Your managers can I.D. parts that technicians use on a frequent basis, plus parts they never use, so they can match parts with the equipment on which they are used.
With practice, they can establish maximum and minimum stock levels, reorder points and criticality.
Another important key to streamlining your inventory is to make full use of mobile scanners and barcode parts.
Real-time usage of parts & inventory can save your business a lot of time and money. It keeps the company informed about lost inventory and notifies you about shortages on frequently used inventory.
Barcoding and scanning also helps to track parts and ensures correct part ID usage for billing.
Finally, having a great Return Material Authorization (RMA) process in place will enable your organization to manage and track returns efficiently.
You’ll also save money on items not used.
Step 3. Streamline Your Operations & Inventory with Maintenance Connection CMMS Integration
MC Global believe that automation is crucial for any company that wants to streamline operations and inventory at multiple locations.
This automation is a given when integrating an enterprise maintenance management software into a company’s processes.
Organizations are using CMMS more and more on a daily basis to manage maintenance needs and to streamline their facilities and inventory needs.
Furthermore, they are turning to CMMS to help them function like well-oiled machines, with many locations running together and communicating superbly.
A CMMS can even be integrated with other internal systems to fully integrate them all.
In short, the benefits that stem from using a CMMS software are limitless.
To learn more about the benefits of inventory and equipment management and Maintenance Connection CMMS integration, call MC Global on +61 7 3303 0177 and speak to a friendly ever-helpful team member, or simply contact us.