When moving its manufacturing facility from Springville, Utah, to Green Bay, Wisconsin, Schwabe North America (NA) faced a number of logistic challenges such as their spare parts procurement.
Before the move, the manufacturer and distributor of botanical brands, nutritional supplements and vitamins had ordered spare parts from a Bosch warehouse close by. Many parts were available the same day, except those that were infrequently used and specially manufactured in Germany. Due to the distance, delivery times for these parts could take up to four weeks. After the move, the closest Bosch facility was now more than 300 miles away. “We faced the question of how to get our spare parts without losing valuable production time,” says Dave Hoffman, maintenance, repairs and operations buyer at Schwabe NA.
Optimized stocking solution
The answer was provided by the experts from long-term partner Bosch: improving spare parts management based on a stock optimization analysis. They analyzed Schwabe NA’s purchasing history from March 2009 to July 2011 and developed an individual spare parts profile. “The challenge not only consisted in defining the amount of permanent spare parts stock but also in finding a solution for less frequently ordered parts,” said Dave Bethel, aftermarkets sales manager at Bosch Packaging Services.
Together with Bosch, Schwabe NA selected parts which could be stocked at Bosch’s warehouse in Minnesota and parts which should be stocked at Schwabe NA’s own site. “Before, we did not anticipate which parts we would require in the near future. We simply ordered parts whenever we needed them. Now we have a well balanced system of our own stock and ordering from Bosch,” says Dave Hoffman. The E-Portal, the online ordering platform from Bosch Packaging Services, complements the new spare parts strategy. It enables Schwabe NA to look into costs and availability of the spare parts at any time.
High parts availability
The new proactive stocking solution is exactly matched to the requirements of Schwabe NA and helps to achieve highest availability with minimal stock. Consequently, lead times have decreased by 90 percent. “Bosch’s stock optimization analysis helped us considerably in customizing our spare parts handling after the relocation,” summarizes Dave Hoffman. “We are particularly satisfied with the fast turnaround times that have improved from up to four weeks to one or two days.”
Director, Aftermarket Products and Services
phone: +1 763 493 6706