Why was the project needed?
The project identified that there were approximately 30 store areas that were used to house maintenance inventory at the South Kensington campus. In some cases these stores were located in areas which were inconvenient to access or were not suitable for storing maintenance parts (for example switch rooms and plant rooms). In addition, the way they were organised varied widely, with differing inventory levels and very limited stock control. As a result of this it was often difficult and time consuming for the maintenance engineers to find the parts they needed - causing unnecessary delays when responding to issues.
The Maintenance Stores Project aimed to:
- Create a new single, shared maintenance store to be used by the in-house maintenance teams and key contractors
- Implement the principles of 5S within maintenance stores on the South Kensington campus
- Develop the underpinning stock control process for efficient parts recorder and replenishment
- Develop visual standards and audit process
- Analyse expenditure by supplier and identify key stock items for automatic re-ordering
- Develop requirements for Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM) system to support parts reordering
The overall aim of the project was to allow the maintenance teams to spend as much time as possible actually carrying out repairs and improvement work, resulting in a more effective, responsive service for the entire College community.
- Improved response time to reactive maintenance tasks
- Staff time saved as parts are easier to locate and key items automatically reordered
- Greater visibility of maintenance parts and stock levels
- Reduced expenditure on unnecessary parts
Direct Observation (RAG) Studies
Over the course of two weeks in both April and September 2016, volunteers from the Operational Excellence Community of Practice completed a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) study, conducting direct work observation to gain first hand experience of the frontline maintenance teams. A study of this kind allows the observers to see emerging issues and measure & prioritise those issues that have the biggest impact so that they can be investigated further and resolved.
One of the key findings from this study was that our maintenance teams currently spent around 12% of their total available time travelling to the various maintenance stores and locating the parts they need to carry out a repair. Additional time was spent ordering parts which were not currently in stock or could not be found in the stores.
Work So Far & Current Activity
- The new maintenance store has now been designed, built and fitted out, with works completed in May 2017
- A decision was taken to recruit a full-time storeperson to manage the store, oversee the set-up process and liaise with suppliers to ensure that the required parts are always available when engineers need them
- Work is well underway to transfer parts from all existing maintenance store areas at the South Kensington campus, with over 25,000 items transferred by July 2017
- The project will include the creation of a detailed stock catalogue and will support the implementation of the new Planon Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) system which went live in June 2017