Increased efficiency through cooperative inventory pooling of spare parts

Intralogistic systems are used throughout the manufacturing industry and form the basis for ensuring the flow of goods within the company. Accordingly, failures or disruptions of intralogistics systems affect the value added of companies. For example, the failure of a central warehouse in a production plant can lead to a production stoppage or a malfunction of a distribution center to delivery delays and loss of sales. A high availability of intralogistics systems is therefore desirable. The maintenance and spare parts supply as a link between manufacturers and operators of intralogistics systems is therefore of important importance.

In practice, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular often pursue a failure-based maintenance strategy in which reactive repairs are carried out in the event of a system failure. Spare parts required for this purpose are often not kept in stock by plant operators, as stocking causes high costs. At the same time, however, the stocking of spare parts ensures the rapid repair of the intralogistics system if necessary. Alternatively, plant manufacturers offer different maintenance and servicing packages, which are again associated with high costs for the operators or extended waiting times in the event of a plant failure. Accordingly, SMEs are confronted with the conflict of objectives between low stocking costs with increased risk of failure or high operational reliability with high stocking or maintenance package costs.

The aim of the research project is to develop a holistic approach for the design of a cooperative inventory pooling of spare parts for the efficient maintenance of intralogistics systems. For this purpose, the spare parts stocks of several companies are combined into a spare parts pool and the pooling partners are given access to the common spare parts stock. The spare parts are either physically pooled at a central location or several decentralized individual stocks are recorded in a virtual spare parts pool. The management of spare parts stocks is system-supported via a cooperation platform to be developed.

This approach of the cooperative stocking of spare parts enables the reduction of capital commitment and storage space requirements while at the same time securing the supply of spare parts. Thus, the problem of maintenance strategies, which are often unfavorable for SMEs, can be solved in practice.

The research project is divided into six work packages. First, requirements for a spare parts pooling in intralogistics are recorded, in order to then analyze the pooling suitability of spare parts. The resulting framework conditions and structures of the partners as well as identified spare parts suitable for pooling form the basis for the creation of business processes including the necessary responsibilities and control logic for spare parts pooling. Subsequently, the profitability of the spare parts pooling for the individual network partners is evaluated and suitable key figures are derived for control purposes. In parallel, the results of the project are combined in a web-based cooperation platform in order to evaluate and improve the underlying processes and evaluation templates.

  • CLAAS Service and Parts GmbH
  • Docware GmbH
  • Goldsteig Käsereien Bayerwald GmbH
  • Herrmann Logistik GmbH
  • Jungheinrich Service & Parts AG & Co. KG
  • Klinkhammer Förderanlagen GmbH
  • Linde Material Handling GmbH
  • LTW Intralogistics GmbH
  • MIAS Maschinenbau, Industrieanlagen & Service GmbH
  • Nowroth Intralogistik
  • Peick Fördersysteme GmbH
  • Rybak + Hofmann rhv-Technik GmbH + Co. KG
  • sonixc GmbH
  • viastore SYSTEMS GmbH

  • IPRI International Performance Research Institute

Das IGF project 18755 N/1 of the Forschungsvereinigung Bundesvereinigung Logistik e.V. - BVL, Schlachte 31, 28195 Bremen was funded by the AiF within the programme for the promotion of joint industrial research (IGF) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.

Contact person

Yannic Hafner, M.Sc.