PartsRiver provides data management services for many fleets and we see the scenario of duplication over and over again. The inventory item master is full of duplicate part numbers and no one seems to know how they got there. One customer says that he thinks they are like rabbits and just breed on their own.
Duplicates happen because of a couple of things. Either there is more than one person entering part numbers into the system, a different brand but identical part was purchased, or a part number was superseded and no one made a note of it. There are more ways to “breed” part numbers, but those are the most common.
So what, you ask? Data storage is cheap. The truth is that duplicates can lead to procurement over spend in a large company of up to 20%. If a Class 8 truck fleet is buying $3 million in parts every year, they could be spending up to $600,000. Isn’t that too much? It that was my company, I would rather have the money in the company than send it to my suppliers.
Here’s an example, right out of a purchase file from one of our customers. The actual part is a Webb wheel drum. Every part number (5 different ones) is for the same drum. But more importantly, check out the “Unit Cost”. Scary! A low of $51.63 and a high of $132.00
And because computers aren’t smart enough to know that these part numbers are the same part, these “rabbits” can just keep breeding.
Take a look for yourself and let me know what you find.