It is not an unusual sight for individuals or businesses to look for fast, effective, and efficient service of their hardware post purchase. Often, there are times when we struggle with the right spare parts and may have even compromised with a makeshift part. On the other hand, a company that sold the original product or entered into serving contract has its own challenges. For critical hardware, service level agreements (SLAs) are often defined in hours, not days. Successful compliance with SLAs is a function of a robust service supply chain. On the other hand, skipping the SLA deliverables frequently jeopardizes business reputation, trust, causes additional cost, and even penalties in some cases.
Such a supply chain ensures strategic coordination among all touchpoints works across aspects such as supply chain modelling, warehousing & distribution, transportation and tracking, asset recovery, trade compliance and technology. For businesses working with critical hardware, service parts logistics becomes a strategic function. However, most often, the organization may not have effective in-house capabilities to do so.
Therefore, the best way is to seek a partner who understands the specific challenges with respect to spare part logistics for the company and offers end-to-end solutions to keep the operations up and running. Such a partner would combine its experience, technology, and be able to keep spare part logistics under control in all usual and unusual operational scenarios. Moreover, this helps in predicting the system downtime as the servicing team gets immense visibility throughout the supply chain. They can update the stakeholders about expected maintenance schedule or recovery time. This, in turn, increases the level of satisfaction among stakeholders.
A competent service part logistics partner also enables the business to quickly scale up to new locations by leveraging their network in those locations, without worrying about questions like- Can I get my hardware serviced there? Therefore, service part logistics becomes a critical business enabler and growth driver in such situations.
As far as financial value is concerned, an expert partner for service part logistics brings down the total cost of ownership by ensuring accurate inventory management, shipping costs and avoid costly trade compliance missteps. To put this in simpler terms, everyone is the value chain knows-who is doing what and by when. As a result, there is lesser anxiety among maintenance team members and other stakeholders. Additionally, the reduced inaccuracy and faster turnaround time has a direct positive impact on the business bottom-line. In absence of a structured approach for service part logistics, some of these aspects may completely go out of control and cause a long-term operational challenge.
Apart from operational and financial aspects, there is always a softer, human psychology that plays under maintenance and repairing journey. Having end to end visibility into service part logistics makes the entire servicing cycle more predictable and allows every stakeholder to prioritize their tasks, instead of spending unnecessary man-hours in anticipation. Thus, the overall experience becomes much more pleasant and rewarding.
This article has been authored by Abhik Mitra, MD and CEO, Spoton Logistics, one of India’s leading engineering and technology-driven express logistics company.