Asset management the key

Asset management is gaining importance as a profit conservation strategy in the materials handling world. This goes for systems vendors as well as their clients.

Materials handling system vendors and system integrators are finding that asset management services are becoming key to customer satisfaction, and therefore continued business.

According to a new Aberdeen Group report, “Integrating Spare Parts Planning with Logistics,” 60 per cent of the leading companies surveyed are integrating their service workflow, from parts forecasting and planning through logistics and distribution.

“Seventy five per cent of best-in-class respondents state that they are combining parts planning and logistics into a common workflow under the oversight of a single executive,” the report’s author, Jack McAvoy, writes.

“This strategy allows organisations to better manage the equilibrium between parts inventory (supply) and service delivery (demand).”

An example of this integrated approach to service can be found in HK Systems’ recent announcement of a new division: HK Facility Services.

These services include:

  • 24 x 7 x 365 “live” Support Center
  • Operations, maintenance and repair
  • Outsourcing
  • Facility audits
  • Project management
  • CMMS solutions

Condition monitoring Todd Sermersheim, vice president of customer service for HK, says facilities management was a natural evolution for the company and was actually being requested by several large clients.

“We already have technicians in these facilities, so now we’re saying why don’t you also let us take care of your HVAC, your building, the lights, the dock doors and levelers?,” he says.

“We’re managing the spare parts for the whole facility, not just for HK’s equipment. We’re also doing predictive maintenance—or condition based monitoring.

“We’re using thermal imaging, vibration analysis and oil analysis. We’re able to identify things that are wearing out and change those ahead of time instead of waiting for a failure.”

In an economic environment where investments in new systems are becoming less common than investments made to extend the life of existing ones, the Aberdeen report suggests that best-in-class materials handling and logistics services providers will evolve with that demand to integrate facilities support with logistics management capabilities.

Ton Andel is editor-in-chief of Modern Materials Handling

Source: Logistics Management

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