As a fleet manager, improving parts management may not be on the top of your to-do list. However, parts management is an integral part of a fleet’s maintenance and repair shop, and this important task should not be neglected.
Failing to implement the best parts management practices can slow vehicle maintenance and repairs, increase vehicle downtime, and result in costly inefficiencies.
In this article, we will outline the best solutions for parts management, which include:
- Inventory management software
- Amalgamation of software systems
- Selecting the right parts inventory system
- Using vendors as a resource
- Expanding your knowledge of parts
Best Solutions for Parts Management
Improving your fleet's parts management can reduce vehicle downtime, speed up fleet maintenance and repair work, and help you save money by mitigating inefficiency. Here are the best solutions for parts management:
Take Advantage of Parts Inventory Management Software
Parts inventory management software can help fleets improve their purchasing practices and provide enhanced stock control. The software allows for inventory levels to be altered and monitored remotely based on upcoming needs and current utilization.
Parts inventory management software is that all maintenance and repair team members can see which parts are in stock. This is especially helpful when scheduling vehicle maintenance.
Another feature of inventory management software provides fleets with the capacity to source and purchase work orders and parts once stock levels go below a certain level. This assists in decreasing admin costs for fleets, as reordering becomes more automated.
Parts inventory management systems can boost the productivity of your maintenance technicians, as well as your shop overall. This decreases the time it takes to service vehicles and reduces downtime. Asset utilization is increased when vehicles return to service faster, offering enhanced efficiency and minimizing idle time.
Amalgamate Your Software Systems
Integrating the software systems that power your fleet can increase efficiency and streamline your returns, billing, and parts ordering. Connecting your software systems can improve the accuracy of your data and free up valuable time for finance and administrative personnel.
For example, if a fleet integrates its parts inventory management system with its fleet management software, it is able to monitor and order or reduce stock according to usage and impending demand.
Parts management systems can provide useful data on parts failures, including which items are failing before the end of their expected service life. Asset service histories can help managers identify trends in parts usage, which can help them improve decision making when it comes to purchases.
Select the Right Parts Inventory System
Choosing the right parts inventory system is integral to successful parts management. There are many different types of parts inventory systems to choose from.
However, most fleets find success using one or a combination of the three most common types of parts inventory systems:
- perpetual inventory systems
- periodic inventory systems
- barcode inventory systems
Perpetual Inventory System
Perpetual inventory systems involve the continuous updating of parts inventory. Data on when parts arrive and are removed from stock is used to keep the system updated.
This type of inventory system relies on fleet management software to calculate and update quantities of inventory as fresh data is submitted. It works well for large fleets with massive parts inventories for whom manual calculation is out of the question.
Periodic Inventory System
Periodic inventory systems collect data on spare parts inventory at predetermined time intervals. Depending on the size of the fleet and other factors the period of time between collecting inventory data may be a week, a month, or even a fiscal quarter in some cases.
This type of inventory system works well for smaller fleets that don’t have a large number of assets to manage.
The drawback of periodic inventory systems? The time it takes to complete an inventory audit. Workers who are collecting data on a fleet’s spare parts inventory cannot attend to other tasks.
Barcode Inventory System
Barcode inventory systems make use of mobile devices to organize parts inventory. Each part has a barcode and is stored in a certain location—such as on a specific shelf or in a bin—which is also labeled with a barcode.
The barcode inventory system helps update inventory tracking instantly, with precision. The system also speeds up the process of collecting spare parts inventory.
Use Vendors as a Resource
Getting your suppliers involved in parts management may make it easier to meet your fleet’s stock requirements. Suppliers have experience with a number of different fleets. They can help you identify which parts provide your fleet with the most value. Many suppliers suggest maintenance schedules to follow in order to prevent parts from failing.
Some suppliers will even integrate their inventory and purchasing systems with your fleet’s asset and fleet management software. This allows for the quick and efficient ordering of emergency parts. It also makes determining warranty coverage for replacement parts much easier.
Expand Your Knowledge of Parts
Understanding your parts inventory better will help you make sure you always have the right parts available. Having a vehicle’s service or repair delayed because of a missing part increases vehicle downtime and costs money. The better you understand your parts inventory, the less likely this is to happen.
Vehicle service, maintenance, and repair are a large expense for most fleets. An integral component of your fleet’s repair shop is its parts inventory.
Remember that your service, maintenance, and repair operations rely on your spare parts inventory to function smoothly. When an in-demand part isn’t in stock, it increases vehicle downtime, thwarting your team’s efforts.
By implementing the best solutions outlined in this article, you can get the most out of your spare parts inventory. You can find more information and related services at Azuga.com.