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The Spare Parts Devil is in the Details

Spare parts management is one of the least prioritized processes in companies. Totally unfair! Warehouses are often overstocked; capital is tied up. They suffer from a lack of transparency and optimized inventory management. Integrated spare parts management can be the solution. 

The name says it all, really: a "spare part" fills a gap. But a supposedly small gap can bring an entire production to a standstill. That's why manufacturing companies like to protect themselves with a well-stocked warehouse. The only thing that counts the required part is immediately at hand in an emergency. Not much thought is given to checking inventories internally - or even across locations. The effort is just too extensive due to the complexity of the different items or insufficiently maintained data in the ERP system. Typical sources of error are inconsistent spellings, hidden duplicates or recoded data records.


"Companies rarely have a transparent data situation regarding inventories," knows Dr. Bernd Voelpel, Global Head of the Smart Factory Group at Leadec. "This leads to unnecessarily large stocks, high costs and low flexibility." The solution: integrate the soft- and hardware of your spare parts management. First, software (such as the one from Sparetech) ensures an error-free and complete database; in the second step, a specialized service provider (such as Leadec) then takes over spare parts management: from procurement to delivery to the warehouse on site or to the workplace.

Digital and physical hand in hand

For integrated spare parts management, Leadec offers a joint solution together with software developer Sparetech. Leadec contributes their  expertise from day-to-day work in more than 300 factories worldwide, while Sparetech is a leader in the automated processing of machine and plant data relating to spare parts. The software allows the user to create accurate product data in the system, to process new parts lists automatically with the help of matching technologies, and to stay informed about discontinuations or changes throughout the life cycle of the spare parts. For Stephan Hihn, Head of Product Management at Leadec in Europe, the approach provides new possibilities: " The data is the basis for physical spare parts management in the factory. We then combine our technology expertise in production maintenance with process expertise in spare parts logistics. It's about cross-site warehouse management, internal logistics and the associated maintenance processes."


The integration of digital and physical results in an optimal procurement and stocking strategy offered by Leadec. For example, our concept prioritizes those machines that must not fail under any circumstances. Spare parts for them must be immediately available and in stock at all times, because in the worst case scenario, Prio1 machines stop the entire production. For many other areas, however, it is worth looking at alternative warehousing - automated, centralized or decentralized, consignment. For example, so-called "inventory pooling", i.e. cross-location warehouse management with access to a central warehouse, leads to a significant reduction in inventories. This is the only way to reduce the number of identical spare parts at different locations.

Getting rid of storage silos

There is no doubt that spare parts management offers room for innovations and solutions. Yet we are already thinking one step ahead: "We believe in a future in which spare parts are always and everywhere available, thanks to transparent data," says Dr. Lukas Biedermann, founder and CEO of Sparetech.

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