Track your spare parts usage with ease

Spare parts usage
Image by Ingbert Merz from Pixabay

It costs you time, money and material to run customer service. Spare parts usage is among the first things you need to track.

Spare parts are expensive – tracking wrong use or misuse can save you money. 

Read more on how to save money using intelligent spares parts management

You need to ensure:

  • The right spare parts are used for the right equipment
  • The right amount of consumables are used
  • Spare parts availability with the engineers
  • Stock audit compliance

Spare parts management helps select right parts for the right equipment

In case of spare parts usage, we do not want the decision to be left to the technician on the spot.

As with repair, we want him to “follow the manual”.

We want him to follow the prescribed procedure. And, also to use the right parts. Because, if he did not, there could be bad consequences from machine health perspective.

spare parts management
Right spare parts for the right equipment

The simplest example is when you replace a “fuse” wire. The temptation to go over and under specification is huge- especially if you do not happen to have the right “fuse-wire” with you.

Of course this can lead to disaster.

Not all mis-use or wrong-use leads to disasters. But, should the technician decide? Let technology help him with suggesting spares that need to be used.

Spare parts management software- right amount of consumables

Spare parts management
Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Let’s say your car goes for servicing- and the lube oil needs to be changed. Of course different cars need different amount of lubes. And the software guides the technician on how much is right.

And the same software helps, if you are managing a team of technicians, to ensure that the right amount of lube is used for the right car.

Consumables or spare parts usage, technology helps.

Plan right stocking levels for optimum spare parts usage

spare parts management software
Saleswah CRM – how to manage stocking levels of spare parts at all users

You need to plan for the right stocking levels of spare parts- at all levels.

Plan for urgent and frequently used spare parts usage and availability with your technicians.

Plan for re-stocking based on spare parts usage.

A spare parts management software integrated with your service CRM will help you plan against nasty surprises.

Comply with stock audit for parts

Stock audit is an integral part of spare parts management. It happens once a year but when it does, your numbers should match the physical audit.

Saleswah CRM helps.

Since no parts are used without being indented for and approved. Since we track parts usage at the lowest point from the central stocking point and every point in between. Since we can produce reports for stock levels availability.

Physical stock taking of spare parts usage is a breeze.

Why is spare parts management for maintenance important

We went live with one of the most comprehensive implementations of spare parts management in a service CRM recently.

In this post, I will explain the standard workflows that exist in the system. This will help you understand not only how versatile the system is but also, what it does not currently do. Please leave your comments below if you see any opportunities for us to improve. As you know, you can always register for a free trial and check out – not just the spares management module but the entire sales and service CRM.

Guidelines for releasing spare parts, movement and use:

Part number and serial number

Spare parts management for maintenance is really important in any service organization. All equipment may require spare parts during maintenance. All spare items have a part no. They would also have a description. The same part might be used to repair different equipment. Thus, you can optionally map the same part to one or many pieces of equipment. Needless to say, a single piece of equipment may require multiple spare parts.

Parts may or may not have a serial no. Normally you would have serial numbers for high value components or modules used as spares. But, Saleswah handles both the scenarios equally well. Where parts have serial numbers and where parts do not have serial numbers. It is admin configurable so you can define a category of parts as needing serial numbers and Saleswah would handle it.

Who does this tagging help? Obviously, it makes the job of the frontline technician a lot easier.

Who plays an important role in spare parts management ?

An important role is played in spare parts management for maintenance by all front line executives and managers. They can indent for spares and use them to solve service tickets. Other than them, there are 2 roles in the system who can “load the system” with spare stock.
1. Admin
2. Spares warehouse in-charge
Admin/ Warehouse IC also needs to create the spare models and link them to one or more equipment models.

Any “line executive or manager” in a service role (technician, service exec, or service manager) can indent for spares. Any supervisor can approve parts and ship them. Approvals and shipments can be partial or full. All shipments are made directly to the indenter.

Activities related to spares

There are 2 kinds of indents: those specifically for closing a ticket and those for stocking. Any line executive or manager in the service role can indent for spares and any of his direct managers can approve.

The ticket related indents are treated as urgent by the system and are auto-escalated all the way up if needed to the person who has stock.

spare parts management


The non-ticket related indents- those which are created to stock up locally on frequently used spares- go through the entire approval hierarchy. The idea is that:

  • every ticket requires at least one level of approval; so at least your immediate manager must approve.
  • if your manager does not approve- it can be that he does not have stock- he can “escalate” the indent to his manager.
  • Whoever approved an indent- for part or full items, must ship.
  • All indents are visible to everyone up the hierarchy; so, a higher manager has the choice to cut through the layers and directly approve an indent.

Ship and receive: anyone who approves, must ship. It of course may be that while approving the indent you do not have parts; so, you can ship only when you get the parts. You of course need to indent for parts to get them.

Spare parts
Spare parts

If you do not have parts to ship in response to an indent, you can escalate the indent to your manager.
You can ship partially or in full.

The cycle is completed when the indenter receives the parts.

Spare stock inventory and usage: When the parts are received by the indenter, he adds them to his inventory- which is his personal stock of spares. Spares are used in repair and maintenance – always related to a ticket.

So, irrespective of how you received the parts in your stock, you can only use them to solve a ticket.

You have full visibility of the entire spares inventory with you and in your direct reporting chain of service users. You also have visibility into the usages and interesting reports can be generated regarding spares usages for tickets, regions, history of spares used by equipment and by user. This helps you maintain control over spares used and draw conclusions over the maintainability of equipment.