How predictive maintenance manages your spare parts

Jun 23rd, 2021
Table of contents

    Predictive maintenance is essential for keeping maintenance costs as low as possible and for keeping your machines, equipment, and products optimally operational. Therefore, it is important to have a good overview of your spare parts stock and to anticipate the end-of-life cycle of (spare) parts. In this blog, you will read how digital commerce platforms can help you with this. 

    Predictive maintenance ensures that machines, equipment, and products are serviced at the right time, just before the end of their lifecycle. This not only ensures lower maintenance costs, but also higher availability. This also explains why almost every supplier works with predictive maintenance. 

    The use of digital commerce platforms such as Propeller can be of great added value here. You no longer need to send your customers a new hard copy catalogue, and it is no longer necessary to unravel parts to identify the right item. 

    The customer logs into your customer experience portal, where they can view the digital catalogue and have access to their own details. Your customer can see at a glance which machines are in operation in their department or branch and is supported in their selection of the right parts by visual navigation options. By using images and drawings, your customers will find what they are looking for more quickly.

    Moreover, the chance of errors is reduced when you can actually see what you are ordering, which reduces logistical costs. Simplicity is key. All order details are automatically filled in when placing the order.


    Proactive lifecycle management

    Besides visual navigation, proactive lifecycle management is a second innovative way of ordering spare parts. Unlike self-diagnosis, the end-of-life cycle of (spare) parts is anticipated with the help of smart software and data analysis. For example, by placing sensors on the most essential parts of products and machines. Organisations receive a signal when spare parts must be ordered based on historical data and based on actual time and/or usage data. Or – and this will increasingly be the case in the future – the order process will be started and completed fully automatically.

    Data and IoT as a starting point

    The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) brings an enormous growth in data about your products, machines, and parts. This data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) help you to predict the right moment to carry out maintenance. This enables you to anticipate failures and prevent stagnation. This has a positive effect on the quality of your machines and production chains. 

    Predictive maintenance is closely related to smart maintenance. Smart maintenance involves the use of all kinds of technological innovations, such as sensors, in order to carry out maintenance more effectively.

    Continuity is key

    Because continuity is essential to your customers, the processes for supplying spare parts must be quick and error-free. Propeller’s SaaS platform automates this service, making the order process much simpler and less error-prone. Each customer has a clear overview of the products they have purchased and the corresponding spare parts. This eliminates the chance of ordering incorrect parts. 

    In addition, you can work with customer-specific prices and discounts and volume discounts for large orders, so that wrong prices are never charged again. 

    Finally, customers can opt for automatic e-mail notifications with up-to-date information about expected replacement times based on end-of-life data and product updates. They can also receive automatic replacement suggestions if they wish. 

    Kaak’s Service Portal 

    For Kaak Group Services, which supplies service and spare parts on installations for the baking industry worldwide, we developed a service portal (multi-currency, multi-lingual) that went live within 4 months. This fully integrated four different ERP systems. 

    The new platform saves a lot of manual work, and the customer has no unexpected costs. Customers have gained insight into their own production line and associated parts. This can be broken down by branch, department, production line or even by machine. Want to know more? Take a look at the case here

    Zero-Touch Commerce

    Incidentally, we see that an increasing number of spare parts suppliers are embracing the so-called “zero-touch commerce” due to a rapidly changing market. Until now, many B2B suppliers in this segment have often worked in a rather traditional way. Manual work results in highly error-prone order processing. Whereas in the year 2021, the entire process – from quoting to checking stock, taking and forwarding orders, packaging and shipping and invoicing – can be fully automated. 

    Thanks to zero-touch sales, you can securely link all your processes, customers, and suppliers. Your customers benefit from being able to order online quickly and easily 24/7 via a webshop with a real-time stock counter and all the product information they need, regardless of the device they happen to be using. Besides the ease of ordering, better margins through smarter (automatic) purchasing are an important advantage for you. In addition, your sales team will have more time for activities that really add value. 

    You cannot find a spare parts supplier who can afford an error-prone, easy, and unnecessarily expensive traditional sales and order system. After all, competition is fierce, and margins are getting smaller. With predictive maintenance, you can manage your spare parts even better, so you can stay one step ahead of the competition!

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