Single-source parts programs: Too good to be true?

July 30, 2015

MHE can get backed up for a variety of reasons, and when it does, the operations manager soon will ask when you expect the equipment to be back to production.

As a facility manager, you are responsible for maintaining a large building buzzing with activity, which may include refrigeration, conveyor applications, automation, and even a fleet of material handling equipment (MHE). MHE can get backed up for a variety of reasons, and when it does, the operations manager soon will ask when you expect the equipment to be back to production. The operations manager has operators waiting for their equipment to start, and you have scheduled maintenance and breakdowns on all types of equipment. The pressure is on.

The technician team is on it, escalating the urgent need for parts to repair the equipment. In this moment, one of the most frustrating things that can happen is not having the correct part(s) to complete the repairs. This is made even worse when you source parts from various suppliers, because you now have to determine from where to order the parts. You also have to figure out which one of your sources can provide the best value in the quickest time. As you spend time comparing sources, the complexity of decision-making about providing the right part can increase.

How do you simplify your parts sourcing while improving your shop's efficiency and productivity? What if you partnered with a source that can provide most, if not all, of your parts needs for any MHE, conveyor and automation? It’s not too good to be true.

Customers approach us regularly asking for creative ways to solve this challenge. Often, the solution is to turn to a single-source provider. To find a partner that will provide the maximum ROI, consider the following:

  • Find an organization that has the operational and financial strength to implement a sustainable long-term solution. A partner that can think ahead of the curve is especially important. The real benefits won’t manifest themselves until you have implemented the program and collected enough data to make fact-based decisions.
  • Consider a provider that can serve locally and globally. It is important that your partner has the ability to service you locally. If you are a large business with locations throughout North America, select a partner that can accommodate each location with personalized service.  With a disciplined and systematic approach, every location will receive the same service, no matter where you are located.
  • Look beyond a website. A website can’t be a partner. What do you do when you need some real support? Even though technology can often provide around-the-clock service, speaking to a person when you really need it can be extremely helpful. Online providers can have competitive pricing, but their value is often limited.

It is critical to get the parts you need when you need them. To maintain the highest availability and coverage for lift truck parts, consider choosing a single-source parts program. This will help you meet your goals of maximizing uptime and minimizing operating costs, avoiding the pressure-cooker situation discussed above.

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