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Ordering spare parts remains one of the fundamental practices of employees at asset-intensive companies. Considering that maintenance work is heavily reliant on these parts for machine upkeep and repairs, ensuring that they are ordered correctly and efficiently is a top priority.

Given its regularity, it’s no surprise that ordering spare parts can become a complicated affair, especially if your spare parts inventory is inaccurate. There are many different issues that could make ordering parts a more difficult process than it needs to be, ranging from duplicate parts names to redundant stock, location mix-ups and availability. Here are three reasons why employees may find requesting materials so challenging:

 1. They can’t figure out what part they need.

Sometimes it’s possible for employees to know exactly what is wrong with a piece of equipment, and which part needs to be ordered. Often though, they may not have the necessary information to make the right call. Lack of visual data or effective communication on the issue could lead to an employee ordering the wrong part. This, in turn, leads to unnecessary costs and wasted time.

 2. They know what they need but can’t find it.

Once an employee has determined what needs to be ordered, locating the part either in inventory or in their procurement system can be a source of frustration. If it hasn’t been entered into a procurement system or it’s been improperly documented, it can easily spiral out of control. This adds another layer of complexity on an otherwise simple and monotonous process.

3. Orders may need to be rushed.

Stemming from the previous two reasons, lack of information of a part could produce a delay long enough in which the necessary part needs to be rush ordered. This puts unnecessary stress on employees as they are pressed for time to place an order with significant limitations. This could lead to duplicate part orders, unneeded expenses and lack of capturing relevant data in your EAM for cost and reliability analysis.

How to Simplify your Spare Parts Processes

There are several steps you can take to improve the efficiency of locating spare parts faster. Some key ones include building an illustrated parts catalogue and detailing commonly used Bills of Materials (BOMs) for your equipment. Adding pictures of the spare parts and storage bins to these documents will also help your employees visualize what they need to locate.

When it comes to ordering spare parts faster, there are also some key changes that can be made to help speed up purchases and prevent last minute deliveries. Automating part request processes with forms will help to enforce data governance and help prevent your data from getting muddied. By standardizing meaningful, detailed descriptions of materials and following naming conventions appropriately, confusion is quelled and the certainty of the parts you are ordering is established. Finally, by connecting illustrated parts in your EAM to spare parts, they are easy to access and identify.

How Can NRX Help?

NRX AssetHub, is a complete solution for improving spare parts management. It works with your EAM system to help create and import BOMs, illustrated parts catalogues and connects them with your existing assets and data to help improve the efficiency and simplicity of your spare parts ordering process. If you want to know more, get a Tipsheet for Finding and Ordering Spare Parts Faster or contact us at 1-877-603-4679.

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