How RS’s ScanStock solution allows organisations to focus their employees’ time on value-added activities and away from the MRO purchase process

The frequency and time-consuming nature of MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) purchasing is a constant drain on organisations’ resources. MRO procurement tends to consist of high-volume, relatively low-value purchases, but while the products’ costs aren’t significant, the time taken by employees during the purchasing process is. For engineers, procurement professionals and others involved in the source-to-pay process, the time taken on MRO purchases could be better spent on other work.
 
This is where RS Component’s ScanStock service comes in. It is a managed inventory service, so RS takes responsibility for controlling and replenishing products for a business, freeing up the customer’s employees to concentrate on core activity.
 
As part of implementing ScanStock, RS helps customers select the right MRO products, set relevant reorder levels and then manage stock checks and replenishment accordingly. “ScanStock is complementary to the existing services that RS offers,” says Alex Davies, Service Delivery Manager at RS. “We know that our customers are looking to consolidate their spend, simplify source-to-pay processes and improve inventory management, so ScanStock is an ideal solution.”
“We know that our customers are looking to consolidate and simplify their source-to-pay processes, so ScanStock is an ideal solution"Alex Davies, Service Delivery Manager, RS
Davies believes that a managed service has significant benefits for customers looking to make their MRO purchasing process more efficient. “We know from our research that more than 80% of inventory movement is from a small proportion of lines,” he says. “As such, customers have a small portion of low-value lines, creating a disproportionate amount of work.
 
“ScanStock not only ensures high availability of key products because RS manages inventory for the customer, it also frees up their people to focus on value-added activities,” adds Davies. “It means no one on the customer side needs to think about stock levels and can focus on their main job.”
 
One company that has benefited from using ScanStock is Mace Industries, a Corby-based manufacturer of conveyor-belt or chain-driven movement solutions. RS worked with Mace to establish how much of each stock item is required on a weekly basis: these parts are placed in clearly labelled bins for the engineers to use and an RS representative visits the site each week to carry out a full stock check on the bins and then re-order any parts as required.
 
“We raise a blanket purchase order, not individual ones, and that saves me a huge amount of time,” says Chris Peck, Purchasing Manager at Mace Industries. “RS also provides the data about how much we are spending and what we are spending it on, which allows us to budget effectively.”
“From a productivity point of view, ScanStock has helped massively – our engineers know exactly where all the products they need will be" Chris Peck, Purchasing Manager, Mace Industries
The company has saved significant time in its ordering process and reduced operational downtime, which has allowed its employees to focus their time on other areas of the business. This has translated into a saving of £11,672 saving over the year (based on annualised savings over five months) with total cost of ownership savings representing 28% of total product spend.
 
“I can largely leave this side of the business alone, which means my time and the resulting cost of that is saved,” says Peck. “From a productivity point of view, ScanStock has helped massively – our engineers know exactly where all the products they need will be and that they will never be scrambling around for key parts, which could delay our operations.”
 
According to Alex Davies, Mace Industries is not alone in its positive experience with ScanStock. “The response we’ve had from customers to the service has been excellent,” says Davies. “We’ve installed ScanStock in businesses of all sizes and all of them are seeing immediate benefits compared to the previous purchasing process they had been using.
 
“We know there is demand for this sort of service – we expect to see ScanStock grow significantly over the coming years.”