Friday, 14 June 2019 15:08

Critical spares: how to eliminate avoidable costs in Parts Management

Critical spares: how to eliminate avoidable costs in Parts Management

If your mission is to improve service efficiency and be more profitable, then eliminating inefficiency and avoidable costs in parts management is key, but often overlooked.  After all, service profits are driven by completed jobs and that requires effective parts management.

  • Do you have visibility of how stock is managed?
  • Do you understock, adversely impacting engineer efficiency and first-time fix-rates?
  • Do you overstock and tie up cashflow in parts?
  • Do parts go missing?
  • Do you have an accurate, real-time view of the value and volume of stock you hold in your warehouse, on-site, in engineers’ vans?
  • Do you have a standardised process for ordering and tracking parts?
  • Do your processes minimise back office administration and engineers time?
  • Are you relying on manual processes for ordering, tracking, returning and replenishing stock?
  • Is the way you manage parts eroding your service levels and profit?

How you can solve the challenges of parts management

Your field service system should sit at the core of your business

To gain the maximum cost and efficiency benefits, a real-time service management software should sit at the core of your business, managing all service functions from the work queue to parts management to invoicing. This system should manage the scheduling of planned, preventative and reactive maintenance alongside getting the right parts, to the right engineer, at the right-time, as a joined-up, seamless process. 

Digital workflows can manage your parts process

A service management software can move jobs requiring parts to Purchasing where automated processes for price checks, availability checks and purchase orders are initiated.  If the parts are already in stock, the system can reserve them for site, manage despatch and notify engineers.

On receipt of parts, the job moves to Scheduling where the system presents the best engineer for the job based on multiple criteria including expertise, availability and location as well as the SLA and the time to arrive promised to the customer.

Automating the process of ordering, tracking and reserving parts for customer jobs provides full traceability of parts ordered, collected, used on site and returned, including the quantity and value of stock held in your warehouse, reserved for site and engineer’s vans.  Stock loss is minimised.  Administration is dramatically reduced. First-time fix-rates increase.

Your parts ordering process is now standardised, efficient and trackable, at every stage.

Automate van stock replenishment

Mobile workforce efficiency and first-time fix-rates are severely impacted when engineers don’t have the right parts in their vans.  A service management software can transform your maintenance and repair operation by managing and tracking van stock more efficiently including automatic parts replenishment to your main suppliers. Digital stock templates can control what parts your vans should hold.  These can be driven by location and the nature of specific customer contracts and make it easy to adjust the number and combination of parts required at any time. Triggers are set to create an automated replenishment order when van stock reaches a minimum level, which keeps stock levels down and increases first-time fix-rates.

Automate price and parts availability checks

When supplier price books are held within your field service system automated price checks can be carried out when initiating a quotation, purchase order and invoice, ensuring your workforce is ordering and billing the right parts at the right price. 

Improve quote and purchase order efficiency

Giving engineers access to your service management software in the field through workflow driven mobile apps reduces back-office administration, delays in raising purchase orders and receiving parts.

Engineers onsite can compile a comprehensive digital survey of the job which produces a bill of materials and quotation, including automated price checks for parts, labour rates and any additional resources required. This information triggers an accurate, automated price checked quotation which is emailed to the customer and when accepted, a service request is seamlessly raised on the service management software for parts ordering and scheduling.

Avoid failures through human error

Effective parts management sits at the heart of an efficient field service operation. Eliminating manual processes reduces human error that creates operational issues and increases costs in your supply chain.   With a digital platform, stock levels, orders, despatch, replenishment and stock for return is managed with simplicity.

Parts management is at its most efficient when scheduling, parts, suppliers and billing is managed in a single joined up platform.  For advice on how to improve your parts management process, book a call with one of our service management experts

  • About this blog

    Aeromark is a leading European tech company specialising in intelligent real-time platforms for Facilities and Field Service Management.

    This blog is dedicated to sharing the latest views on trends and best practices covering service efficiency, real time automation, Smart monitoring, digital transformation, Internet of Things and more.

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