Supply and demand

XYZ holds nearly £2 million worth of stock at its head office
XYZ holds nearly £2 million worth of stock at its head office

XYZ Machine Tools keeps 20,000 different spare parts on the shelf to offer first class customer support.

As part of its push to offer the best possible levels of service to its customers, XYZ Machine Tools holds nearly £2 million worth of stock at its head office in Burlescombe, which equates to around 20,000 different parts in 18,000ft2 of storage on three levels.

70% are for the current machine range and the remainder are legacy parts for previous machine models including those which are 30 plus years old, enabling the company to still supply the parts required to keep these older machines productive.

The demands for the stores department come from several sources. The service department requests parts which are shipped directly to the customer for the service engineer to fit or, replenish requests are issued to maintain stock levels for common parts in the 17 engineers’ vans. In fact, each van is considered as a stock location.

Parts are also required for machine building. At Burlescombe, each machine is assembled, and individual customer options added before undergoing running, quality and health and safety assessments. BOM lists for each machine are pre-picked in the stores to ensure machines can be delivered on time.

Finally, customers can order parts for self-fitting. Orders come from around the globe, so the shipping requirements can be complex to be able to fulfil these demands quickly and efficiently.

The stores aim to ship parts for next day delivery when ordered before 3pm using a range of transport networks with the objective of keeping the machine running and offering a 1st class service. XYZ’s new spares website is now live. Within the site, it is easy to find products, with searches possible by machine type and model and part number. XYZ’s telephone support can, in any case, help customers identify the part they need. Again, parts are dispatched for next day delivery including for international orders. Within the stores, stock levels are maintained by the company’s MRP system backed up by physical stock checks to ensure accuracy and inject common sense into stock levels.

A positive reaction

As well as maintaining the smooth running of parts leaving the stores, deliveries of goods from local suppliers and the regular shipments from overseas need to be identified and quality and quantity checked when they arrive and again when they are issued from the stores, keeping track with incident reports where parts are not compliant. Barry Stanford, stores operative stated: “Being reactive is key. Our aim is to find a solution to a problem first and then learn how it can be avoided in the future and, for that, our local parts knowledge is invaluable.”

As part of increasing sustainability, the stores reuses clean packaging materials and Euro Pallets while others go through the company’s woodchipper to be used in the biomass boiler. Previously, around 100 tons of wood each year went to landfill and the costs for this plus the heating costs amounted to over £70,000. With the biomass system the payback is less than two years, so it was an easy decision to invest. Furthermore, XYZ has also invested in solar panels, installing 112 capable of producing 46kWh which, connected to inverters, powers the factory during the day and has the option of exporting up to 23kWh back to the grid. EV charging points have also been installed at Burlescombe, Nuneaton and Huddersfield showrooms.

Nigel Atherton, managing director said: “We make a considerable investment in parts to make sure we can achieve the top-class service standards we set ourselves. As part of our operation, we are also conscious of our responsibility to the environment and sustainable working practices. We have made changes to mitigate our carbon footprint which make both economic and environmental sense.”

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