UK based company Buck & Hickman, distributor of tools, maintenance and health and safety products, has added the new Multi-Store CribMaster vendor managed inventory (VMI) solutions, to its range of industrial vending machines. These vending machines, situated close to the production line, use bespoke inventory management software to control and monitor the use of indirect materials.
Indirect materials, such as tools, PPE and consumables, can be a small but costly part of the manufacturing process. They are normally relatively low unit cost items which can collectively make up a sizeable chunk of the manufacturing budget. The key to controlling these costs lies with the five ‘W’s. What was used? Who used it? When was the material used? Where on the factory floor was it used and finally, why was it used?
Monitoring is often easier said than done, but the answer may lie with these vendor managed inventory (VMI) solutions. The software, situated in the vending machine, which is then connected to the internet, offers reports on what has been vended in the last day or week and even has the ability to compare the performance and spend of different departments and individuals.