Spare Parts & MRO
Spare parts & MRO
It’s hard enough to forecast demand and optimize inventory for finished goods. It’s harder still to do it for spare parts and materials. That’s in part because much of MRO spare parts and materials demand is as erratic and intermittent as it is financially consequential. While the conveyor bearings may wear predictably, the specialized robotics are expensive and can fail randomly. At the extreme, this leaves MRO materials managers in a difficult situation between:
- Near fail-safe stocking levels with unsustainably high carrying costs for MRO inventory
- Low-cost stocking levels with higher potential for stock-out, production stoppage, supply shortage, and lost sales
No materials manager wants either bad outcome, yet many lay awake fretting amid hundreds of thousands of items to forecast and manage.
Automate spare parts and materials forecasting
When equipment fails, the right spare parts and materials must be on-hand, especially if they are critical to production. That said, forecasting demand for these items is complex and difficult. One spare part or material may be critical to zero-downtime, but rarely needed. Another may be expensive, carried for a long period, and prone to obsolescence. Both are prone to random spikes, which seem to obliterate any faintly discernible patterns.
Vanguard Predictive Planning for MRO is a cloud inventory platform that automates forecasting while applying advanced analytics to derive trends, patterns, and probabilities from even the most intermittent of demand sets. Vanguard’s advanced analytic tool set includes Croston’s intermittent demand model, as well as more advanced Monte Carlo simulations for probability modeling. All of this is packaged in a single cloud work environment to help users improve margins and service levels, while reducing stocks-outs and net carrying costs.
Optimize inventory planning and MRO
Vanguard makes it easy to rationalize and code MRO inventory and materials by cost, criticality, storage capacity, supplier lead time for purchase/manufacture, and more. The system automatically optimizes parts and maintenance requirements, weighing (for example) carrying costs against stock-out losses, or a low-cost maintenance schedule against low-risk alternatives. The result is an optimal mix of inventory levels, reorder points, maintenance touches, and operations policies to achieve the lowest possible Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Leverage Vanguard Software for part, or all, of your S&OP or IBP process: from MRO inventory and materials to sales forecasting to supply planning to budgeting. Vanguard can integrate all of these distinct applications on a single platform designed to unify management estimates, exceptions, and data.
Vanguard’s UI integrates seamlessly with your business processes, enabling diverse teams and users to communicate and collaborate. Plus, all changes and updates are dynamic, system-wide. Change your MRO demand plan, and see that change reflect instantly in your inventory order schedule – on the same screen.
“Billions [of dollars] in operating margin and trillions in market capitalization separate supply chain winners from losers,” according to AMR Research.
Best-in-class planners see:
reduction in inventory
stronger perfect order fulfillment
shorter cash to cash cycle times
fewer stockouts than competitors
Senior Portfolio Manager, Novartis – Vaccines & Diagnostics
"We are making strategic decisions that have long-term impacts on our business. Without Vanguard, we would not have the visibility and analysis we need to make the right decisions."
Lead Evaluator for Winzer
“One vendor stood head and shoulders above the others through the process — Vanguard Software. Vanguard consistently worked harder and provided more tangible, high-quality data and answers to questions than any other competitor.”
IT Technical & Management Expert
"Vanguard is really easy to use and allows you to quickly pull demand data to use to support the business. Vanguard’s staff is always willing to help out with any question/concern I have about the system/information. Vanguard’s onsite training was extremely beneficial to help learn the tricks of the tool."
Logistics and Inventory Manager, AFT Pharmaceuticals
"We looked for a software which could deliver the necessary requirement for our business and allows for customization. Vanguard has that capability and proven to be a reliable software, with a good supporting team behind it."
Business Analytics Manager, Buy Auto Parts
"After reviewing five different forecast systems, Vanguard excelled in all our requirements. Vanguard has great visualization and interface tools to assist with Ad-hoc and strategic analysis. The ability to measure statistical forecast accuracy greatly adds merit to the competency of the system. What really sold us was the exceptional customer service support to maximize the full potential of the software."
Business Intelligence Manager, Endeavour
"After the initial Pre Sales demonstrations to our prospects, the most common statement is not whether they wanted to go ahead, it is when should we start the trial."
Demand Planning Manager, Sensata Technologies
"Vanguard brought massive, positive improvements to purchasing, confidence, and stock reduction. Their system helped us stabilize production. That saved us money, but it also enabled us to grow the business more sustainably. Instead of managing spikes in demand, we achieved much greater stability in production scheduling and fulfillment."
Financial Analyst, Francesca's
"We use Vanguard to effectively create and distribute sales plans to our field leadership to help them manage their business units."
Director of Supply Chain, Aurobindo Pharma USA
"At its core, Vanguard Forecast Server is a user-friendly forecast generator with powerful analytical tools and easy-to-read reports. As users become more adept with the system, their ability to manage and manipulate forecasts increases tremendously. The results are consistently more accurate forecasts, time and again, and better forecast accuracy leads directly to a better bottom line for our business."
Assistant Director, Planning and Development – Kansas Department of Transportation
"Vanguard's forecasting process makes us so much more effective as an agency, especially when every dollar really counts."
Sr. Accountant, SDOT
"South Dakota DOT had heard from another State DOT about how they forecast their cash, and because we had been looking for that type of system, we spoke with that agency and decided to inquire about getting a similar system tweaked to fit our needs."
Director of Business Intelligence, Keen Footwear
"The reason I chose Vanguard was the quality of the pre-sales support and assistance in setting up a proof of concept with our actual data. While functionality was similar between all the choices your team and immediate sales support are what closed the deal."
Demand Planning Manager, Natrol
"Vanguard is a premier forecasting tool for businesses of all sizes. The data flexibility, reporting tools, continuous support is why we chose Vanguard over other software solutions."
Vice President of Supply Chain, Mayne Pharma
"Our company grew rapidly with the acquisition of a large number of products that more than doubled our sku (stock keeping units) base. We were implementing a robust Sales and Operations (S&OP) process and needed a tool to assist our team in forecasting demand. We evaluated multiple solutions and continued to return to Vanguard based on their solution and the quality of their design and support team. Since implementing Vanguard we have seen a substantial improvement in our forward looking forecast as measured by our Mean Absolute Percentage Error. We are confident we made the right selection in choosing Vanguard."
- Demand forecasting
- Product mix/portfolio analysis
- Sales and operations planning (S&OP)
- Supply chain planning
- Information sharing
- Operational efficiency
- Equipment diagnostics
- Surveys and research
- Multi-Echelon Inventory Optimization (MEIO)
- Artificially Intelligent forecast method recommendation
- POS Demand Sensing
- New Product Forecasting
- Promotional Forecasting
- Sell-to and sell-through forecasting
- Bill of Materials (BOM) Support
- Predict demand for final products and raw materials, even when historical data is scarce.
- Optimize product portfolios, pricing, and promotions. Product development: Estimate life-cycle costs and forecast adoption across all channels.
- Enable real-time collaboration between Marketing & Sales and Operations to ensure production capacity can profitably support customer demand (and vice versa).
- Optimize your supply chain network, inventory levels, distribution plans, and more.
- Involve suppliers and customers in planning processes. Dynamically receive their latest demand and material availability estimates.
- Conduct process improvement/Six Sigma projects to reduce costs, cycle times, and waste.
- Expertly guide operators, technicians, and support agents through complex troubleshooting processes using automated question-and-answer sessions.
- Know your market and understand your customers’ needs, wishes, and opinions using online surveys.
- Increase service levels; reduce safety stock; improve turns and profitability.
- Automate the selection of the best-possible forecast methods and parameters.
- Spot and respond to demand trends and signals in real time; improve downstream replenishment.
- Optimize product transitions; identify cannibalization effects; respond automatically to seasonality and trends.
- Optimize inventory levels and production scheduling.
- Improve demand sensing and demand-supply planning.
- Streamline production; eliminate errors, delays, and compliance failures.
Subscribe to our blog
Never miss industry news, technical information, or thought leadership articles.