The SPARETECH Summit 2023, held last month, set the stage for a thought-provoking panel discussion on the beginnings of a global industrial sharing economy and its impact on spare parts management.
The discussion was enriched by relevant insights from industry experts, including
- Christoph Kracke (Product & Process Owner Maintenance | BMW),
- Daniel Klier (Purchasing Production Equipment | Brose),
- Marcus Strauss (Head of Service & Maintenance | Bosch),
- René Hackbart (Head of Maintenance | ElringKlinger),
- Dr. Lukas Biedermann (Co-Founder | SPARETECH),
which highlighted key technological advances, supply chain transparency, the need for collaboration, spare parts pooling parameters, and challenges and opportunities going forward.
Here is an overview of the main points of the discussion.
Technological standing and digitalization of spare parts management
When it comes to spare parts management, one common challenge stands out: the balancing act between the need for critical parts and the high cost of storing them. Marcus Strauß from Bosch showed how important it is to find this balance and emphasized the increasing importance of resilience in the face of the supply chain crisis.
To effectively address these challenges, companies are becoming more professional and focused on data quality and structure, recognizing that knowing what they have is the key to success.
Although progress has been made, supply chain transparency in spare parts management is not yet optimal. Collaboration with technology partners such as SPARETECH has proven effective in improving matching rates and data transparency.
Cross-industry collaboration and networking
Companies, regardless of their competition in the marketplace, must work together to drive progress in the global industrial sharing economy. Industry meetings such as the SPARETECH Summit facilitate these connections on a personal level, but continued collaboration beyond such events is necessary on a corporate level. Building networks and fostering partnerships are critical to success.
Spare parts pooling
Standard parts are seen as suitable for pooling, while more complex units are more of a challenge. The ongoing supply chain crisis has led to pooling initiatives to cope with extended delivery times and to meet urgent needs, e.g. lack of spare parts for the construction of special machinery.
Price considerations, scalability and robust IT infrastructure are important factors in deciding whether a part is suitable for pooling. Although pooling brings challenges such as formalities and price agreements, participants were optimistic that these hurdles can be overcome in the medium term.
Pooling is not a pure transactional process, but rather relies on trust to ensure the reliable availability of resources. By fostering trust, organizations gain the confidence to actively share stakeholder expertise and data, paving the way for efficient cross-industry collaborations. This collaborative approach is key to achieving shared resilience within the supply chain.
Future relevance and environmental impact
Spare parts management will gain in importance in the medium term. An important point highlighted in the discussion is the avoidance of scrapping obsolete parts. Sharing these parts as part of the industrial sharing economy could minimize this environmental impact.
Environmental impact is reduced by sharing unused parts with other companies, avoiding scrapping, and thus promoting sustainability.
As companies continue to drive digitization and promote cross-industry collaboration, the industrial sharing economy has the potential to revolutionize spare parts management and improve sustainability in the manufacturing sector.