Can I phone a friend? How many friends do you need?

So, you have phoned a friend, and they can’t help, then what?

Phone another friend?

How many friends do you have that can supply that urgent critical spare part that you need to get production back up and running?

So, what do you do when you need a spare part urgently, your plant, process or equipment is shutdown, your losing money and the urgent procurement process must kick into action.

Why isn’t the spare part in your warehouse? Maybe this is an unusual breakdown, its un-planned or in fact it may be a down right disaster. Whatever the circumstance, you need the spare parts urgently and our usual process is to go the local agent of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

Great if they have stock, delivery will be quick, and problems are solved, pass the parts to maintenance and production gets back up and running. Disaster averted, all back on-line, everyone is happy again.

But what happens if the local agent doesn’t have stock? You might try a couple of stockists, but you are generally off to calling the OEM head office in a location that is most of the time thousands of miles or kilometres away from you or your required site. Then you have the different time zone to contend with – are they awake? You might have to wait 12 hours to speak to someone or possibly longer over a weekend or holiday. Once you eventually do make contact with the OEM, they will then need to determine if they have the required stock in their warehouse, or if the item needs to be manufactured or worst-case scenario that

the part is no longer available, and the parent piece of equipment is no longer supported. Whatever way the conversation goes, it is likely that the spare parts that you need will be days away, possibly weeks or months. Then you add significant logistics and transport requirements plus customs or duty clearance as well. This all adds time and delay to your plant, process or equipment being back on line. Start-up delays cost money, production downtime costs money and reputations and downtime also affect contractual negotiations for sales, the list goes on.

Have you ever thought that the spare part you need could be a lot closer than what your being told?

Surely someone else has the part I need and a lot closer to my site than what the OEM is telling me.

Did you know that the spare part you need is possibly used by another industry?

What if I could ask multiple ‘friends’ at once? What if I could call upon multiple ‘friends’ not only in locations close to me but also all over the world?

What if I could call multiple industries at once – because the part I need is not just unique to my industry, as it is also used in many industries – made by the same manufacturer.

What if I could put this request out in a matter of minutes – in less time than it requires to find the phone number of the next ‘friend’?

What if I could do this anonymously so that the world does not know I have a production outage or have suffered some sort of problem with my operation?

There are many examples of where plant, process or equipment is shutdown waiting for spare parts. In many cases the spare part that you require urgently using your current procurement system or process is potentially days, weeks, or months away from being delivered to you when it could be a lot closer than you think, you just don’t know who or where to call when the norm

has already been tried. You also don’t realise that other industries hold the same or similar spare parts to your industry. Oil and Gas, Power Generation and Aviation all have the potential to interchange some parts, but generally we never cross industry boundaries. The same OEM supplies parts to all different industries and in many cases to the same specification and the same equipment. So, if we could just have a system to talk across industry and make new ‘friends’ we could potentially help each other. Not just within the same industry, but across industry boundaries and across regions and countries.

So, what if your network of ‘friends’ could be expanded to include those within your industry – and now across different or compatible industries. You have now opened up a significantly better chance to improve the lead-time on your urgently required spare part or equipment and get your operation back on line making money.

As all our plants and equipment age, OEM support for equipment is limited or discontinued, making it very difficult to source those urgent spare parts to keep operations running. This compounds the problem further when you usually only have a few options that can help. Imagine the possibilities or chances of success when these urgent or hard to find spare parts or equipment are now called upon via an expanded network of ‘friends’ that not only covers your industry but now includes compatible industries across your local area, other regions, states and countries. Never have you had this opportunity to expand your network of friends quickly and easily, using the technology that exists today.

How do you expand your network of ‘friends’ to help when you’re in trouble?