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 is 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, and
  • Low-cost stocking levels with higher potential for stock-out, production stoppage, supply shortage, and lost sales.

No materials manager wants either 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).

Best-in-market usability

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 – all on the same screen.

Client Results

Billions [of dollars] in operating margin and trillions in market capitalization separate supply chain winners from losers,” according to AMR Research. With Vanguard Predictive Planning, best-in-class planners see:


Reduction in inventory


Increase in perfect-order fulfillment (complete, accurate, and on time)


Shorter cash-to-cash cycle times


Fewer stock-outs than competitors

Featured resources

Case study

Spare parts distributor, Winzer, decreased inventory spend by 10%

Solution brochure

MEIO Application

Industry sheet

Demand planning for spare parts

What our clients have to say

Joachim Schwarzkopf MBA, PhD

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."

Ana Rodriguez

Director, Enterprise Applications and Integrations

"Vanguard has enabled Skullcandy to be more automated and calculated with our Demand Planning. The usability and thorough on-boarding and configuration process offered by Vanguard enabled us to completely migrate from our historical software very quickly"

Brent Phillips

Director of Demand Planning at Traeger Grills

“Our team selected Vanguard Software because we believe they are the best solution for our current demand planning needs and future supply planning needs.”

Renee Thomas Jacobs

CEO, Buy Auto Parts

"From the first time we loaded our data into Vanguard, we've been happy with the results. Between heightening our understanding of sales cycle curves, the immense flexibility, and responsiveness of the platform, and providing a single view of all items and categories, we've had a very positive experience."

Jim Cafferty

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.”

Vijay Ramadoss

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."

Geoffrey Taylor

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."

Cameron Yee

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."

David White

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."

Ewelina Piasecka

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."

Curt Mason

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."

Dave Palew

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."

Marcia Ferrill

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."

Patty Thompson

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."

Tim Oligmueller

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."

Chris Patterson

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."

Carl Turner

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.

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