A Plan for Every Part?
Is your balance sheet consistently carrying too much inventory? Do you frequently run out of essential parts? Maybe you have trouble procuring components in the current supply chain climate.
These are common struggles manufacturers face in inventory management. In striving to stay lean and agile, it is imperative to have a plan for every part (PFEP). PFEP is a strategic approach to inventory management key to reducing inventory stress and strain and keeping equipment running full steam ahead.
What is a plan for every part (PFEP)?
PFEP helps manufacturers maximize their profits with an in-depth view of inventory policies and procedures. The concept is a lean manufacturing methodology focused on improving productivity and reducing waste. The main objectives of a PFEP are reducing inventory waste, improving maintenance and repair efficiency, and enhancing purchasing standards. It also allows companies to understand and address supply chain issues.
The PFEP is a digital spreadsheet or database featuring all the critical information about parts used within a manufacturing company. A PFEP keeps all parts inventory information in a single place instead of spreading it out over several different systems. The parts database acts as a system of record with the additional benefit of specified strategies for sourcing and inventorying each category or type of part.
What’s included in a PFEP?
Collecting critical parts information is often difficult since manufacturers typically distribute inventory and parts information within and among several sources. Developing a PFEP strategy is a large undertaking, but the effort pays off in a big way when consolidated information yields actionable inventory insights.
Compiling accurate data depends on the scope of components. Different companies rely on different pieces of information critical to their own PFEP. That said, there are clerical, logistical, and contextual variables most PFEPs should include, such as:
- Part numbers
- Usage statistics
- Storage and usage locations
- Shipment and supplier information
- Box and part weight and dimensions
- Number of parts required
- Transit times and carriers
The benefits of PFEP
A PFEP creates an inventory strategy with high levels of certainty and control impossible with broad, unspecified inventory management methods. Certainty and control make it simpler — and less stressful — to schedule maintenance and repairs without succumbing to extended delays due to stockouts or backlogged parts. Other benefits of a PFEP strategy include:
- Inventory control. With a PFEP strategy, manufacturers obtain precise control over every aspect of inventory management (e.g., ordering intervals of individual parts).
- Inventory oversight. Improved inventory oversight makes it easy to know what parts are on hand, which need reordering, and each part’s role in the value stream.
- Supply chain visibility. A PFEP strategy allows companies to identify possible supply chain issues and act proactively to solve potential problems.
- Better part sourcing. With supplier information on hand, it’s easier to find the right vendor for certain parts and materials — especially in times of supply constraint.
Do you have a PFEP?
Inventorying is complex and, absent proper oversight, a frequent cause of waste. Companies can make things easier — and less wasteful — by using a PFEP strategy to create a simple, structured process for managing parts and components. PFEP strategies reduce waste, increase profits, and maximize efficiency.