Product availability, product quality, and on-time delivery are the three most important factors for food processors selecting suppliers for replacement parts, according to the most recent study by Food Engineering. Lowest price, electronic ordering and order tracking, and national or global service capabilities ranked at the bottom.
The survey also found that processors are spending less on replacement parts. More than half spent less than $100,000, up from just about one-third in 2014.
The respondents also noted that their primary strategy for determining when parts need to be replaced is regularly scheduled visual inspections (55%), followed by a “when it breaks, then replace it” approach. Fewer than 10% are currently using any sort of predictive strategy to determine when parts might fail.
Despite spending less and leaving more to chance, processors do acknowledge the importance of purchasing high-quality OEM parts, with 43% indicating that less expensive parts don’t work as well and 32% reporting premature machine failures as a result of using them.
The survey also explored spare parts inventory management practices, with 67% saying that their approach has stayed the same in the past year.
Overall, the results suggest a somewhat conflicted approach to purchasing replacement parts, with processors recognizing the value of higher-quality parts, while at the same time being less willing to pay for them.