On October 7th, 2015 in Frankfurt, Germany, Syncron in coordination with DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung GmbH, held the Pan European Railway Platform. This year’s platform covered the optimization of MRO parts planning; virtual warehousing for continuous availability of slow-moving and expensive parts; best-in-class planning through exceptions and redistribution; and working with dynamic lead times.

Attendees had the opportunity to meet experienced practitioners and decision makers in the industry and learn about processes and strategies focused on spare parts inventory planning. Syncron and DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung GmbH were able to set up networking opportunities for attendees with valuable professional contacts and shared ideas and experiences in open discussions and Q&A sessions. Additional European railway companies and experts in spare parts inventory management attended this two day seminar.

Leading industry speakers presented sessions focused on in optimizing spare parts planning. Presentations during the Pan European Railway Platform included the Introduction of DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung and Parts Inventory Optimization Project ODIN by DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung and Planning of Repairable Parts Inventory – Theory and Practice by Katarzyna Marcinkowska of Syncron. Marcinkowska additionally facilitated a workshop on Optimized Planning for Slow-Moving/ Expensive Parts (Virtual Planning).

Albert Söderberg, Senior Manager at Syncron, presented on Best-in-class Planning through Exceptions and Re-distribution. Söderberg discussed how the challenges for companies before implementing an inventory management solution can include a vast product range with high costs for standstill, various ERP systems, and a private dealer network.

Key drivers for initiating an inventory management solution include an increased OTC (Over The Counter) fill rate, an improved dealer performance, improving an OEM’s reputation, an increased customer satisfaction rate, increasing sales/market shares and opening supply chain visibility toward dealers. These factors negatively impact organizations and they search for a system to improve those main issues.

With Syncron’s Inventory Management software, Syncron can help users advanced buffer stock calculations; separate target service level for normal, slow and lumpy items; establish system calculated re-order points; and order inventory according to FOQ. Replenishment planning is important and the key factors are:

  • Classification by VAU – Annual estimated demand * unit cost
  • Inventory Policy
  • Inventory Policy Parameters
    • These inventory policy parameters establish when and how much inventory to order.
  • Target service level – Simulate the impact of changes
  • System recommended orders – For stocked items

Söderberg discussed all of the benefits of a global inventory management system and the results of implementing Syncron’s inventory software include:

  • Over warehouse locations connected
  • Higher service degrees
  • Less capital tied up in dealer inventory and increased inventory turn rates
  • Less manual work on stocking orders with more time for customer relations
  • Increased market shares
  • Unified KPI definitions and calculations in whole dealer network
  • Less emergency orders towards central warehouses
  • Reduced air shipment

Along with the examples of exceptional inventory management results, some projects include the implementation of a larger scale program that could include different DMS systems and interfaces. Söderberg explained that by implementing inventory management software, it is possible to achieve quick results and improvements, even at end customer level.

By planning through expectations and re-distribution of an inventory management system, users can make sure all projects are tied to reasonable business terms for the dealer. Users can apply easy models for establishing business cases and have a good understanding for the customer’s business.