The Support Phase of your Material Handling Project
Will your material handling systems integration partner be there for you after they cash their last check?
We believe we have a responsibility to our clients that goes beyond the systems we Design and Build. It is to maximize the return on investment of our systems over the entire lifecycle of the investment. We accomplish this through superior 24x7x365 Support and customer service including parts management as the last phase in our Design Build Process. Additionally, we offer condition and Performance Audits to make sure that the system is mechanically and functionally operating at peak performance.
Free Guide: Top Order Fulfillment KPI Indicators
Pitfall #1 – Not having critical spare parts onsite could result in significant downtime until the right part can make its way to your facility.
Having key Spare Parts onsite and easily located is key to quick resolution to system failures that arise. Critical spares (or parts with long lead times necessary for system operation) are crucial to have on hand at all times so that they can be pulled from a shelf location and at the point of failure rather than needing to be sourced to arrive in days or in some cases weeks later. This delay simply is not an option in today’s modern distribution center. Instead make sure that you consult with your Integrator about your critical spare parts plan, and be sure to carry all those parts at all times.
Pitfall #2 – Reactively addressing failure vs. Proactively mitigating risk.
It is not only important to have critical spares on hand to minimize exposure to risk but also to perform routine Preventative Maintenance. A properly designed and conducted preventative maintenance program not only will lengthen the life of system components but also serves to identify areas that are wearing before a failure can occur. Typical tasks performed are: greasing of bearings, performing adjustments to chain tensioning, tracking belts, and reviewing Warehouse Automation technologies within your facility. With a properly maintained material handling system the risk of unanticipated downtime is decreased and the life of the investment is extended.
Keeping a well maintained system extends the life of system, which will translate into a lower cost of ownership. Having preventative maintenance plan, a critical spare parts list, and ensuring Maintenance Manuals on hand are critical to the upkeep and health of your system. Having all of these components in place will reduce the frequency of unplanned events and also reduce the period of time from when an incident is reported to when it is resolved.
Time is money that is why these two components cannot be overlooked. Unplanned downtime and the associated disruption in meeting customer expectations will result in lost customers due to the increasing demands by customers who expect an ever shortening window of time between “click and ship”.
If unplanned downtime occurs, especially during peak, and the spare part required to solve the problem cannot be quickly located and replaced, the result will be dissatisfied customers. If items can not be delivered on time during periods of high demand, customers in this “instant gratification world” will look elsewhere to receive the product that they desire from the vendor who can provide it the quickest. This type of customer service is the key to the success of your business and your warehouse needs to be your competitive advantage.
Support after the completion of your project should be of the utmost importance to realizing the investment made in your material handling system as well as continued customer satisfaction. Be sure to select an Integrator who designs a Lifecycle Support plan and has it firmly in place for you to follow before your system goes live. This is the partner that is committed to your organization for the long haul and will not vanish after they cash your last check.