Spare parts inventory management: assortment management of your long-tail

Do you encounter problems managing your huge spare parts assortment? Does your assortment keep growing and inventory levels rising?

For businesses in the spare parts industry, providing customers with a reliable service is crucial. However, with extensive assortments and a high proportion of slow-moving articles, maintaining high levels of availability while keeping inventory costs under control can be a huge challenge. Often strict service level agreements make the business even more difficult.

Customers depend on distributors of maintenance products to be able to provide all of the essential parts and components they require at a moment’s notice. After all, an inventory availability issue could bring the customer’s operation to a grinding halt. Businesses store huge spare parts assortments encompassing everything from bearings and seals to power trains and tools. Coupled with the extremely sporadic nature of demand, keeping inventory levels under control, is a daunting task for a spare parts supply chain team.

Spare parts software

With Slim4, our inventory management software, businesses can regain control over their spare parts operation. Through providing greater insight over the entire assortment, Slim4 enables spare parts businesses to optimise their approach to inventory management. Making sure the right articles are at the right locations at the right time. The result: greater efficiency, increased customer satisfaction, and lower stock levels.

Spare parts benefits

With Slim4 we are able to help spare parts businesses with their inventory management.

  • Increasing your stock turn
  • Increase service levels up to 99%
  • Reduce inventory by up to 30%
  • Increase sales by 2 - 7%
  • Improve efficiency by up to 50%

Multi-echelon optimisation: the right inventory at the right location

To remain responsive to customer demand, many organisations in the spare parts business cover a large footprint. Encompassing regional distribution centers as well as a large number of local branches and trade counters to keep their inventory. However, with highly localised demand patterns, businesses can be subjected to excess stock and availability issues. Especially when they do not have clear visibility over the entire network of warehouses. Furthermore, we often come across businesses who have their inventory stocked at the wrong location. Leading to many unnecessary allocations between warehouses.

With the multi-echelon inventory optimisation capabilities of Slim4, a spare parts business can benefit from gaining a holistic view of inventory across the entire network. By taking into account the inventory situation and anticipated demand for each location, supply chain teams can strategically allocate the optimal level of inventory to each location. This, in turn, results in increased availability while the overall investment in inventory decreases dramatically.

Increase supplier reliability in your spare parts business

To satisfy customer demand, businesses in the spare parts sector typically rely upon a diverse range of suppliers.  Supply chain teams must take every possible step to maximise the performance and reliability of their suppliers. Especially given that a business can only ever be as successful as the weakest leak in the chain. After all, if a supplier is not delivering the right quantity promptly it can have a serious impact on your availability. Resulting in a lower service level towards your customers.

Slim4 enables businesses to build stronger ties with their customers. Our spare parts inventory management software Slim4 calculates accurate purchase forecasts for 52 weeks ahead. Enabling spare parts businesses to automatically share invaluable data regarding their future inventory requirements. Furthermore, with Slim4’s advanced order book functionality, inventory management teams can proactively monitor purchase orders. Making sure they can take immediate action in the event of delays or missed orders. Ultimately, with Slim4, businesses can establish more productive and harmonious relationships with their suppliers and customers.

Wish to know more, please feel free to contact us or do you want to read some inventory management business cases first?

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