Did you know that the average US household owns over 300.000 items? Consumer demand has been growing and growing, and our production facilities have to run as efficiently as possible in order to keep up. But what if something breaks? It’s not a question IF one of your machines will break down, but WHEN it will… So you better be prepared to make sure it’s fixed as soon as possible. Want to know how a Product Data Platform can help you out?
In last week’s blog we discussed one of the core functionalities of a Product Data Platform (PDP): ‘product matching’. We learned how this enables wholesalers to respond up to 60 times faster to tender requests. In case you missed it, you can read up here.
However, there are many more use cases for product matching! This week we will zoom in on another use case: Spare parts management and Maintenance, Repairs, and Operations (or Overhaul, depending on which you prefer).
Spare Parts management
In this day and age, production facilities are optimized to continuously run, relying on a lot of automation and heavy machinery. If anything breaks, this slows down the entire process which is very costly. Therefore, it is critical that any malfunctions are fixed as soon as possible! Most production facilities make sure to have enough spare parts in stock to always be up and running, and to keep the production flow going. Furthermore, imagine having multiple production facilities. This means you will probably also have multiple spare part inventories. With the average prices of machinery and spare parts, this results in a lot of dead capital. Product matching is a great way to centrally manage your spare parts, and to make sure you can run them as efficiently as possible. Duplicate parts in one facility can be quickly recognized and allocated to another facility, preventing them from making unnecessary purchases.
Not every company has a full inventory of spare parts; some rely on close partnerships to make sure they stay up and running. To make this part a little more tangible, let’s look at a company that makes beer. Afternoon drinks are mandatory, nice… All this beer is brewed in a big facility. This facility has to be maintained, and occasionally something will break which has to be repaired sooner rather than later. Over time, a relationship will have formed with the supplier(s) of these parts, they have become their go-to guys (or girls). In fact, the relationship is so strong, that there is a direct line between the beer producer and the spare parts supplier, so they can easily let them know which parts they need for which machine, etc.
But still, the supplier has to ‘translate’ this list of parts in such a way that they can find these in their inventory and send them over to the beer producer as soon as possible. You can probably see where this is going…
Usually, the supplier would integrate the assortment of this beer brewer with their own inventory. However, because of the amount of work that comes with this, most of the time only the core assortments will be integrated, or the ‘short tail’. Whenever an article is ordered that is not part of the supplier’s core assortment, this causes loads of manual work to locate this article.
Product matching tools, for example our Mydatamatcher, enable you to simply integrate your entire inventory with that of your customers, instead of only the core of your assortment. Imagine how much faster your turnaround time can be, and how happy this would make your customers! Whatever they request, as long as it’s in your inventory, you will be able to quickly respond to their requests.
These are just a few of the use cases where matching product data can make a big impact. Can you think of some more use cases? We’d love to hear from you!