If your company is like most, your item master is clogged with bad and outdated part numbers, a multitude of suppliers, dozens of different prices and endless and often confusing part descriptions. And your buyers are using this tangled system all the time to purchase parts for your fleet. Your first thought may be, “But my parts buyers are very experienced and have been doing this a long time. They know exactly what they are buying, so what’s the big deal?”
There isn’t a big deal. Unless you like paying more for parts than you should. You see, bad data may be costing you much more than you think. And there are two key ways that happens:
First, you may simply be paying too much for a part, and your buyers can’t communicate with each other to negotiate a better price. For example, one buyer might be buying a 275491X governor under a correct part number and getting the contract price, while another buyer might be buying the exact same part, but under a bad part number with a higher price. Same company, same computer system, two different parts buyers buying the same part for very different prices.
And no one in the company will be the wiser because they are both buying what is in the system. Add up these unavoidable mistakes over time and they run into significant dollars. One of our customers was buying the exact same Webb drum using 18 different part numbers and paying 8 different prices, with a 257% difference between the highest and lowest price!
Secondly, bad part numbers in your item master lead to receiving bad parts which leads to returns and time spent reordering the right parts. Not only does this process double the amount of work, taking your people away from other work, but this can also be really expensive not just in the cost of processing the return, but in the cost of not getting the tractor or trailer fixed and back on the road earning revenue, where it belongs.
Keeping track of part numbers, and purging your item master of bad, inaccurate, superseded and duplicate part number, won’t only save you time and frustration, it will save you money. Proper item master management is the key.
So how do you solve this problem? Stay tuned… part two, Keeping Garbage Data Out of Your System, is next.