July 28, 2011

Lessons from Nan’s pantry – why labelling ‘jars’ could help manufacturers save millions, a letter to the editor

I fondly remember my Nan’s pantry as a highly organised place, filled with neatly stacked and labelled jars. I’m often reminded of this, when I visit manufacturers, in my role as a maintenance or inventory management specialist. However, it’s not always the high levels of organisation that make me reminisce; in fact it’s often the opposite.  

I’ve often turned up on site to help a customer with a breakdown, only to find a host of spares out of their antistatic packaging and a confused client, not knowing whether or not the parts are functional.
Good inventory management solves this problem and gives maintenance teams confidence when replacing faulty gear. It also increases their ability to resolve equipment failures and reduces unnecessary downtime whilst increasing production performance. However, manufacturers can eliminate excess inventory from their books, and thus get better return on net assets, by not purchasing the inventory until it’s needed. Methods of achieving this include Just in Time (JIT) inventory management, sometimes referred to as the Toyota Production System. Keeping its ‘pantry’ in order in this way could save UK manufacturing millions.

John Mitchell
Business development manager

Bookmark and Share

No comments: