Second only to the value of a company’s human capital is the value of its inventory. Inventory assets serve multiple purposes, many of which are centered around maintaining high levels of service to customers. Protecting inventory assets while keeping them accessible is our core mission in asset management.
We believe that every item in inventory should remain available for consumption throughout any relocation. This capability starts with several key strategic decisions early in the project and extends to the minute details of the location of a an inventory item in real time. This is achieved through careful planning, repetitive testing, process integrity testing, application of appropriate technology and training of the employees involved in the relocation.
Case Study: Airline Maintenance Facility
Few organizations are as sensitive to the availability of parts and materials as an airline. Our team was recently tasked with assisting an international airline move from an 80-year-old maintenance facility into a new unified, state of the art hangar and distribution center. The legacy facility had grown organically over the years and contained materials in more than 8 co-located buildings, structures, and storage containers. Approximately 3.5M parts were stored in this system. At any given time, every part needed to be capable of being found and issued to maintain in-service aircraft. In fact, the main passenger departure terminal was in sight of both the old and new storage facilities. Line maintenance mechanics were accustomed to driving across the tarmac to obtain parts needed to address maintenance issues for aircraft at the gates. The cycle time to move an aircraft part from the origin to the destination shelf was measured in hours. But the client had a self-mandated “find” time for aircraft parts of 15 minutes or less.
By strategically analyzing the past usage of materials, we were able to pull a selection of aircraft parts that were likely to be called for during the 40+days of relocation and hold them in quick reserve. The remainder of the inventory was tracked through three time-stamped relocation steps as it was moved.
Through the course of the move, we had multiple checks that were performed to test the “find time”. Some were random checks by client project managers and some were checks initiated by the process control and audit department to insure the integrity of the tracking process. All were passed with the longest average find time approximately 12 minutes, or 20% faster than required.