IMC-2018 Learning Zone 50:52

by Brian Burns, Evraz NA

Maintaining and upgrading equipment I'm responsible for, while working within a budget, has lead me to value the open market (eBay) as a key tool within my MRO approach. I've spent 27 plus years in the steel industry and have used eBay for the last 15 plus years for both personal and company business. Becoming an Asset Manager, six years ago, I found I could integrate my experiences to save my company a lot of money, both buying and selling. I'm passionate about sharing my experiences supported with real case studies from years of successful results. A little history of the steel mill goes back hundreds of years and so does the equipment that is still producing a lot of quality product. The "old school" procurement processes supported the idea that having more is better then having to manage proper inventory levels. In today's high-tech industrial world, "just-in-time" and "lean turn over" time tables, we generally have what we need when we need it. This is great if the equipment and budget you have are new and OEM supported with an endless budget to pay the OEM prices for these parts and services. My reality, and most of the industry, is that we make-do with what we have and make it last longer so we can provide economic rewards for the shareholders. I then considered selling obsolete parts and equipment. Purchasing and selling directly to and from individual sources seemed to be the logical way to keep my budget in check. Of course, there were questions to consider:

• What parts are available for my equipment and who can buy them?

• Is it really safe to buy parts on eBay?

• Will my company let me do this since it's not an approved vendor?

• How do I prove this is a safe process and that the parts are authentic?

This is where things get really exciting for me because as everything in business, it needs to be proven before someone gets behind you and lets you run with your success. I have been documenting purchases and sales for over three years and have case studies for some high dollar ROI results buying from eBay. With internet access so widespread today it only makes sense to share unneeded items with another who is still using that equipment. Not only does it cut out the middle-man, it's the GREEN thing to do. Above all, your company can recoup some capital expense and "clean house" at the same time.

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