Spare parts inventory essential to minimising warehouse downtime

Maintaining equipment might seem like a secondary concern for warehouses focused on processing hundreds or thousands of orders per day, but all it takes is for one key piece of machinery to malfunction or one error to be made, and downtime starts to really cost you in terms of unhappy customers, repairs, and reputation. How can you avoid this?

Spare parts inventory essential to minimising warehouse downtime

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Be prepared

Implementing best practices for buying in spares and maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) materials is more difficult than it might seem. According to Inspirage, an effective spare parts management system requires strong item master data and the ability to forecast accurately what will happen to equipment and when.

Having an effective system in place isn’t easy. Factoring in lead times for spare parts, identifying the most critical materials to have in house, and organising them so they aren’t taking up valuable warehouse space are all concerns that need to be taken into account.

Prevention is always better than frantically searching for a cure, so regularly checking and maintaining equipment is key to reducing downtime. Well-serviced machinery is much less likely to break down and cause expensive delays, and making space for spare parts in your budget as a regular expense is better than suddenly having to fork out for costly repairs.

Pallet racking

Simple parts can make a huge difference in keeping your warehouse on track. For example, most pallet racking companies, such as, that provide pallet racking in Ireland also sell several simple ways to minimise damage to racking.

This kind of damage is most often caused by forklift trucks, so a small foot guard to protect the base of the racking from collisions can keep a whole rack from going down. Forklift trucks make life so much easier in a warehouse, but they can also be the cause of a lot of high-cost damage.

Benefits of spare parts management

The most obvious – and possibly the most important – outcome of having an effective system in place to manage essential spare parts is that equipment uptime is improved. Avoiding downtime simply due to the lack of a specific part can largely be avoided and can save considerable amounts of time and money. Another advantage of staying on top of spare parts and MRO materials is that you can do much more with less.