Maintenance and reliability engineers will happily (well, not happily) undertake a review of spare parts that are not classified as critical, yet they will shy away from reviewing items that are classified as critical. The argument is: ‘the item is critical and so we must stock it'. Thus the classification drives the review action rather than a cost benefit or stocking analysis. But what if the classification was wrong, or the item was significantly overstocked, or the supply arrangements had changed? Surely these are factors that can be reviewed and have nothing to do with the part's criticality?

It doesn't make sense to limit your review action based on the idea of criticality alone. This will drive you to review parts that are critical but not defined as such and not review parts that are defined as critical but which may no longer be critical. Classifying an item as critical tells us that we need to have ready access to the item when it is required, it doesn't tell us what the alternatives are or how many we need to carry. Nor does it tell us whether we need to actually own the items prior to needing them. Don't shy away from reviewing critical items. They may be just as overstocked as any other item, or there just might be a viable alternative to holding the item at all.

Phillip Slater is a leading authority on materials and spare parts management. He is a qualified engineer, an experienced operations and maintenance manager, a seasoned management consultant, and the author of four operations management books, including Smart Inventory Solutions, now in its second edition.

For a customized FREE report on your spare parts management, participate in the 2010 Materials and Spare Parts Management Survey

Tip provided by Phil Slater, Initiate Action

Upcoming Events

August 9 - August 11 2022

MaximoWorld 2022

View all Events
80% of newsletter subscribers report finding something used to improve their jobs on a regular basis.
Subscribers get exclusive content. Just released...MRO Best Practices Special Report - a $399 value!
 How To Achieve An Uptime Elements Black Belt

How To Achieve An Uptime Elements Black Belt

Do or do not – there is no try ~ Yoda

Are you one of those people who will not start a project until planning is close to perfect?

The Uptime Elements Black Belt program is designed


 Keep the Air Your Machine Breathes Clean and Dry

Keep the Air Your Machine Breathes Clean and Dry

It is important to stop airborne contaminants from entering tanks, drums, or machine reservoirs. The good news is that this is one of the easiest problems to address through high quality

Tip ...

 Optimizing Costs Through RCM-Based O&M

Optimizing Costs Through RCM-Based O&M

Today’s water and wastewater facilities must balance the demands of safety, environment and cost. With shrinking budgets, water and wastewater treatment facilities are asked to do more with

  • ...

How Complex Should Maintenance Procedures Be?

The level of complexity depends on several factors:

  • The complexity of the task. Tasks which have multiple steps that must be performed in specific sequence, or contain unusual operations, must be spelled out precisely.
  • What specific data is needed