Gasunie is an energy network operator, managing and maintaining the infrastructure for large-scale transport and storage of gas in the Netherlands and the northern part of Germany. They make use of an underground network of pipelines and various installations that require proper maintenance. The demand of spare parts for this kind of maintenance is difficult to predict which makes inventory management complex.
To overcome this complexity Gasunie uses Lanza to optimize their inventory control. On top of this decision support Gordian helped them embedding a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) improvement process in their organisation. As a result Gasunie took a major step forward in professionalizing their spares stock management.
From firefighting to “being in control”
In particular the Planning phase of the PDCA cycle helps an organization to get in control of their stock. At the start of the project, the stock managers were asked about the root causes of emergency shipments and process irregularities. Based on this information Lanza was configured and tailored to the client’s environment, following the standard Lanza methodology. Having numerous business rules in place the stock managers could then actually spend their time on critical stock management. As a matter of fact, demand patterns also changed significantly as the number of modification projects decreased. The methodology that was implemented in Lanza enabled Gasunie to absorb this change and limit the amount of stock.
Increase in performance
As a result of this project, the stock availability has increased in a short period while the stock hardly increased at all. On top of that many order sizes have increased, reducing the number of purchase order lines. As a result the workload to replenish has reduced significantly.
To measure is to know
After completing the initial project phase and having updated inventory parameters structurally, Gasunie was ready to embark on the Check and Act phase. Making use of Lanza’s embedded KPI dashboard Gasunie gets insight in their KPIs and is able to analyse their ‘bad actors’. Root causes were found and Gasunie was able to take targeted action. For example, initiatives started to improve the requirement date of material reservations. With a minor process change, Gasunie was able to take control in their stock management and thereby saving time. This time is used to further improve and save even more. The Supply Chain Management department is now able to tailor its inventory strategy to the needs and wishes of the other Gasunie departments.