Align supply chain and service goals with asset data
Have you ever wondered why you think your inventory and logistics provider is more of a reactive “demand” chain than a proactive “supply” chain?
This is often the case with many companies. Internal goals are not always aligned; the service needs a higher initial fix while the supply chain needs lower inventory to free up money in the business, or the supply chain can be aligned with the sales department rather than service.
Typically, the supply chain accesses two data points and from there is expected to support the service activity in an efficient and timely manner. This is normally an order from the technician “I need this part now” or, if you are lucky enough to have a tool that creates replenishment inventory, you may be using the consumption history. to trigger a replenishment order. In today’s world, these are not sufficient to deliver the levels required by customers or to serve the business.
So how do you get these two business units to work together and share common goals and KPIs for the benefit of the business?
Data visibility breaks silos
Does the supply chain know the data you collect? If not, it’s time to share the data you collect and work together to understand what data can benefit both sets of goals. But what data to share? The following four data points are the best place to start benefiting both parties and your customers.
Install the base. Providing installation master data allows the supply chain to see your asset allocation so they can understand where inventory is best to position to ensure parts are available in the right locations for better support the products. For old or new products, having this information in real time allows the supply chain to either increase inventory as a new product line is launched, or reduce inventory at the same rate. , when the old ranges of products reach the end of their service life. For new products, having the right inventory on hand reduces cases of out-of-stock, which can create great frustration for customers and technicians. At the other end of the life cycle, depreciation and obsolete inventory is a significant cost and has a significant impact on your business bottom line. This is a win-win for the service and the supply chain.
Preventive maintenance plans. This information is easy to share but is often overlooked, and the impact is major. Knowing when scheduled work is due and the parts associated with the scheduled work allows the supply chain to proactively plan the necessary inventory and ensure that inventory is delivered to technicians via cost-effective shipping. Without this proactive link, technicians reactively order PM kits and typically require expedited shipping to ensure those parts are on site when needed.
Contracts. For more mature businesses, adding contract visibility to your installation base allows the supply chain to plan for parts availability taking into account criticality and entitlements. The priority established by contracts can then be met using the supply chain. For example, if you were out of stock and only had one part available to repair a machine, you would want to prioritize that part for a contract customer with the availability clause and a potential penalty, as opposed to at a non-contractual time and material. customer. Much like installation database data, this additional information helps the supply chain position inventory in the right place to meet projected demand and reduces the potential impact of missing an agreed duty.
Closed cases / work orders. Imagine a The technician orders a part to repair a fault, but it is not currently available. So he checks with other technicians in the area and ultimately uses one of their transferred parts to resolve the issue. File / work order closed, it’s all over, right? Actually no. The part that was originally out of stock is shipped to the customer 5 days later. The customer has no more problems and puts the part in the drawer for the next arrival of the technician. Six months go by and during the technician’s next stock check, he is accused of a lost part. It’s upsetting because the technician never had access to the room. Either way, the part is written off and the cost hits the bottom line. However, a simple process of removing all back orders once the case is closed resolves this problem. You would think this would be a simple fix, but you would be very surprised at how often this happens and the impact not only on the bottom line but also leads to a disgruntled workforce.
Good communication is the key
Even if you think you have good communication with your supply chain, the reality is that you are probably not communicating enough. Run the supply chain with your technicians and vice versa. Let technicians know what it’s like to deal with vendors, lead times, and no actual usage forecasts except historical consumption. Find common ground and use asset data to gain mutual benefits. Make sure everyone understands each other’s KPIs and goals and where their actions negatively and positively impact others’ metrics. Most importantly, make sure stakeholders are aware of how their goals align with overall business goals.