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Demand categorisation in a European spare parts logistics network

Syntetos, A, Keyes, M and Babai, MZ 2009, 'Demand categorisation in a European spare parts logistics network' , International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 29 (3) , pp. 292-316.

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    Purpose: Spare parts have become ubiquitous in modern societies and managing their requirements is an important and challenging task with tremendous cost implications for the organisations that are holding relevant inventories. An important operational issue involved in the management of spare parts is that of categorising the relevant stock keeping units (SKUs) in order to facilitate decision-making with respect to forecasting and stock control and to enable managers to focus their attention on the most “important” SKUs. This issue has been overlooked in the academic literature although it constitutes a significant opportunity for increasing spare parts availability and/or reducing inventory costs. Moreover, and despite the huge literature developed since the 1970s on issues related to stock control for spare parts, very few studies actually consider empirical solution implementation and with few exceptions, case studies are lacking. Such a case study is described in this paper, the purpose of which is to offer insight into relevant business practices. Design/methodology/approach: The issue of demand categorisation (including forecasting and stock control) for spare parts management is addressed and details reported of a project undertaken by an international business machine manufacturer for the purpose of improving its European spare parts logistics operations. The paper describes the actual intervention within the organisation in question, as well as the empirical benefits and the lessons learned from such a project. Findings: This paper demonstrates the considerable scope that exists for improving relevant real word practices. It shows that simple well-informed solutions result in substantial organisational savings. Originality/value: This paper provides insight into the empirical utilisation of demand categorisation theory for forecasting and stock control and provides some very much needed empirical evidence on pertinent issues. In that respect, it should be of interest to both academics and practitioners.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Inventory management, demand forecasting, spare parts, distribution management
    Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Business & Law > Salford Business School > Operations and Global Logistics Management
    Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Operations and Production Management
    Publisher: Emerald
    Refereed: Yes
    ISSN: 0144-3577
    Depositing User: Professor Aris Syntetos
    Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2011 12:21
    Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 18:13

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