ToolsGroup: Simple yet powerful technology to ensure spare part availability with minimum inventory

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Maintenance service departments at industrial facilities or in after-market operations out in the field are responsible for making sure that equipment works correctly and with minimal down-time. Should something fail, fast and effective action is required. That is when it is crucial for spare parts to be available.

The parts required for preventive maintenance programmes can be estimated in advance, but ongoing availability of spares is critical for corrective maintenance, which is a response to completely random situations. The demand for spares is typically very slow moving and requires the management of large numbers of items. Given this situation, ensuring materials are readily available while at the same time containing the investment tied up in inventory is clearly a difficult challenge.

ToolsGroup optimisation technology is designed to plan this critical availability and right-size inventories for the task. Our technology can deliver both inventory efficiency and service improvements. Our projects are characterised by fast implementation times, from 3 to 5 months, often providing customers with tangible results within the same business cycle as the decision to implement. ToolsGroup has extensive experience, a loyal installed base and demonstrable success stories. We also offer a highly experienced professional team with recognised knowledge and domain understanding.

Replenishment planning for managing materials in maintenance operations

The dynamics of spare part consumption in maintenance operations require high levels of availability and a controlled rationalised replenishment process, The very nature of the business makes the management task a challenging one:

  • consumption patterns of slow or extremely slow moving items are lumpy and highly erratic;
  • the number of materials to manage is usually large;
  • safety minima which are recommended by manufacturers or specialists;
  • preventive maintenance or programmed stoppages generate exceptionally high levels of demand.
  • usage forecasts for each material and location
  • a probability distribution model for each usage forecast
  • a safety stock and re-order point, based on the rate of and volatility of usage and supply parameters (lead-time, lot size, supplier reliability);
  • timely replenishment requirement proposals to reintegrate and maintain ideal stock levels;
  • timely replenishment proposals to cater for planned maintenance needs.

The entire process is supported by parametrically driven and user customised exception reports to drive value into the management process and support supplier performance.

An attractive value proposal: reduce inventory and its costs, improve availability and save on labour costs

ToolsGroup assists maintenance spare part inventory managers in achieving improvements which rapidly and directly impact the results of their business.

Improving product availability

Stock-outs are very expensive in the maintenance arena: the lost profit due to down time at an industrial facility may be several orders of magnitude greater than the cost of the part.

ToolsGroup helps you increase your service levels by precisely defining the product mix that must be available at each stocking location.

Reducing fixed assets

In a highly uncertain context where there are many parts to manage, conventional replenishment methods simply do not work. Overbuying a very slow moving product will result in paying its cost of ownership for several years and increases the risk of obsolescence.

ToolsGroup will help you reduce inventory and largely automate the replenishment process. The ToolGroup driven process will automatically propose suitable buy or replenishment quantities on the basis of real need, maintaining an optimal mix of product in the stocking locations and putting a brake on obsolescence. The result bears a clear impact on the KPIs of the materials department and a positive and measurable contribution to the financial results.

Automating the process by adding intelligence

ToolsGroup's advanced models automate and add intelligence to the process of calculating manufacturing and/or purchasing decisions. The high levels of automation can reduce the workload of personnel directly involved in controlling inventory, service and orders to suppliers enabling greater focus on value added activities and the management of exceptions.

How we do it

ToolsGroup's principal contribution to our customers is our Service Optimizer 99+ (SO99+) technology for modelling and optimising inventories.

'Inventory modelling' means creating robust, reliable mathematical models which relate the service performance levels that the market requires to the stock necessary to achieve them. Most models in conventional tools simply don't work.

'Inventory optimisation' means our technology is able to find the optimal target stock mix on the basis of the margin contribution each item makes to the business.

The technology was created at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and later developed on the basis of experience and real cases in major customers worldwide over a period of more than 30 years.

A multinational expert in the best software solutions for inventory optimisation

  • Offices in Europe (Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Milan and Paris), North America (Boston, Mexico City, Toronto) and Africa (South Africa)
  • Distributors & support world-wide • More than 300 implementations at more than 250 customers • Recognised as the leading supplier of inventory optimisation by prestigious analyst groups (Gartner, ARC, Aberdeen, Industry Directions)
  • Continuous presence on the world-wide market for the last 20 years

About ToolsGroup

ToolsGroup, a leading supplier of Powerfully Simple solutions in the field of demand analytics and supply chain planning, is the innovation partner of companies wishing to achieve excellent service levels at the lowest overall inventory cost and to calculate their forecasts with a high level of accuracy.

We offer the most innovative and advanced solutions for companies to automate their planning processes, improve forecast accuracy, optimise promotion planning, optimise inventory and give their customers excellent service levels, all at the lowest overall cost in terms of inventory and transportation.

Powerfully Simple is the philosophy underlying our solutions - simple, user friendly decision support systems driven by powerful engines.

ToolsGroup brings key value to its customers:

• Knowledge • Experience • Advanced technology • Commitment • Shared risk • Self-financing.


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