Over 80 service technicians of Welzorg Nederland B.V. repair and maintain care aids such as mobility scooters, wheelchairs and other aids on a daily basis. To successfully complete their work, each mechanic has his or her own bus stock which contains 170 items such as inner tubes, batteries and other spare parts. Previously, the counting of this stock took place every quarter, which meant that the mechanic could not carry out repairs for a number of hours. To optimize stock counts, Sigmax and Welzorg developed the cycle-counting methodology.
Time-consuming stock counting
Peter Terpstra, Logistics Engineer at Welzorg, explains: “All bus stocks were counted every quarter and this took an average of four hours per bus. That’s sixteen hours per mechanic every year, and Welzorg employs around 80 mechanics. You could definitely say it was a time-consuming process.” The reliability of the stock also left something to be desired. “Because mechanics used to register the stock at arrival, there was no grip on the stock. The received items were registered on paper, which often resulted in unreadable or lost forms. As a result, we had a stock reliability of 70%, which we felt was too low, according to Terpstra.”
To increase inventory reliability and reduce the time spent on stock counting, Sigmax developed the cycle-counting method together with Welzorg. With this inventory method, instead of counting the entire bus inventory in one go every quarter, the technicians count parts of their own stock every week in between their work. Terpstra: “The mechanic starts his shift in the Sigmax software and sees his planned activities for the day. In addition, the software shows which items he has to count that week and the mechanic is asked to check the day’s receipt. The technician does counting of the item in between jobs, so it doesn’t actually take up any time. This saves us a significant number of hours each year.”
Better stock reliability
Terpstra continues: “We have been using the cycle-counting methodology for about one and a half years now. The reliability of the stock counts has increased to an average of 85%. Together with Sigmax, we are improving the functionality so that we will eventually arrive at a reliability of more than 90%.”
In Connect, Sigmax’s field services software, the technicians not only record the items counted but also the day’s receipts and returns are processed. “We have completely moved away from the paper workflow and now have insight into where all stock is located. This allows the engineers to successfully complete more jobs in one go because they know exactly what is in stock,” Terpstra says.
The Logistics Engineer is very satisfied with the collaboration with Sigmax: “The entire process with Sigmax was pleasant. We now have a better grip on our stock and it was nice to be able to add this functionality to the software that our engineers were already used to. I think the cycle-counting functionality in Connect can also save other service organizations a lot of time.”