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Aftermarket activities, including spare parts management, used to be an afterthought for manufacturing companies. This is no longer the case as a considerable amount of business’s revenue comes from the services and products that are provided after the sale of the original products; hence, the aftermarket.
This shift within the industry indicates a need to put more thought and effort on the after-sale services and processes such as repairs, inventory management along with the distribution of spare parts. Therefore, it is crucial to have a closer look at the trends and technologies within the spare parts management field which will enable companies to move forward.
One of the cutting-edge technologies that is likely to be more popular within the manufacturing industry is blockchain technology. Blockchain has been all over the internet as a revolutionary technology that would disrupt how business is done in many areas from finance to IT sectors. However, the manufacturing industry has also started to investigate what this new technology can do for their spare parts management process and help them keep up with customer expectations.
One of the main advantages of blockchain technology in the context of spare parts management is its ability to automate, record and monitor all the activities that take place during the process; from ordering of parts to stocking and distributing them. All the relevant data is stored in the
blockchain and that data can be shared by all the stakeholders that are involved, thus making it easy to track all the activity during the process. Another advantage of using blockchain technology is regarding safety. Although the data can be reached by all the parties involved, it cannot be altered, making it more transparent. With the use of blockchain, there is less manual labour required, so it minimizes the level of human error as well. The combination of all these features adds up to a more seamless spare parts management process, which can lead to better customer experience.
One thing to keep in mind about blockchain technology is that it is continually evolving; in terms of its applications, regulations, and limitations. As blockchain continues to be fine-tuned and further defined, manufacturers could begin to really capitalize on the opportunity the technology brings—to create a more transparent, accountable and efficient spare parts process than ever seen before.
Interested in learning other Spare Parts trends? Have a look at our articles on 3D printing and integrating ERP and EAM. Check out the agenda our business platform Spare Parts Europe.