The Importance of Supply Order Automation for the Service Supply Chain
As customers continue to look beyond the product to the service included with it, companies are placing added importance on Service Parts Planning (SPP). The service supply chain is distinct from the production supply chain in several ways and shifts the paradigm from “just in time” inventory to “just in case” inventory.
The after-market sector is tasked with planning a highly variable parts portfolio that often includes the unique combination of low volume, high mix materials with intricate part-chaining requirements. On top of that, field service supply chains must support complex networks consisting of distribution centers, fields sites, all the way down to a technician’s trunk stock, and must account for long lifecycles lasting years to decades. Finally, service supply chain sourcing requires the coordination of multiple supply streams (including reverse logistics to repair defective material), multiple supply sources (build, buy, repair), and multiple suppliers (Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), aftermarket suppliers). Service parts planners must manage this part, network, and sourcing complexity while meeting the contractual obligations of rapid-response Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to focus on customer satisfaction when supplying “just in case” inventory.