Let’s pretend that you are a Maintenance Manager. You are responsible to maintain a large fleet of material handling equipment. Your shop is buzzing with activity and equipment is backing up. The Operations Manager is asking when he can expect the equipment back to production. He states that he has operators waiting for their equipment. The pressure is on!
Your technician team is on it and they escalate the urgent need for parts to repair the equipment to you. Now, is there anything more frustrating than not having the correct part(s) to complete the repairs to the equipment? Especially when the pressure is on? Yes, there is! If you source your own parts from many sources you now have to determine where to order the parts from. You have to determine which one of your sources can provide the best value in the quickest time. The complexity of providing the right part increases as you add sources while the benefits decrease.
So, how do you simplify your parts sourcing while improving the efficiency and productivity of your shop? What if you partnered with a parts provider that can provide all of your parts needs for any material handling manufacturer? Sound too good to be true? Not really.
I’m approached regularly by customers asking for creative ways to solve this parts sourcing problem. The solution is pretty simple. To implement a very successful Single Source Parts Program you have to partner with an organization that has the operational and financial strength to implement a sustainable long term solution. I say long term because the real benefits don’t manifest themselves until you have worked the program and collected enough data to make factually-based decisions.
If you pick the right partner with the strengths mentioned above you will reap the benefits. These strengths must include the ability to service you locally. And if you are a large business that is geographically located throughout North America, then you must pick a partner that can accommodate each location with personalized service. With a disciplined and systematic approach every location receives the same service. The strength also provides face-to-face service so implementation is fully supported by “real” partners, no matter where you are located.
Consider the following when choosing a partner. Can they provide:
• Fill breakdown requests for all manufacture
• On site consignments for all manufactures
• Free weekly / bi-weekly deliveries
• Parts technical support
• Web portal to search and enter orders
• Of course, exceptional savings!
Don’t pick a partner that is simply a website. Sure there are a few of those out there, but what do you do when you need some real support? Even though technology does a pretty good job at removing the personal touch, what’s wrong with getting the personal touch when you really need it? Call me old fashioned, but once I’ve tried getting support on a webpage and can’t find it, the first thing I do is look for a phone number to call. And then you know what it is like to be in voicemail hell. Stay away from those programs as they provide little value besides pricing. Usually that pricing isn’t as good as you think.
I’ve tried many sources, but single source is the way to go. These programs have been very successful. However, since the world is constantly changing, am I missing anything? I’d enjoy discussing it with you.
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