How to Improve Your Storeroom and Technician Efficiency With Job Kitting
Job kitting is a tremendously powerful tool for organizations to improve their efficiency. The efficiency gains come from a reduction in the amount of time the technicians spend waiting at the storeroom, looking for parts and travel time resulting from multiple trips to the storeroom. The storeroom also has efficiency gains, such as fewer trips around the storeroom, as they have a complete list of parts required for each job and know exactly what parts are required. Also, as the storeroom kits multiple jobs, they take fewer trips around the storeroom.
So with the many benefits of job kitting, why do organizations not implement kitting or stick with it? There are multiple reasons that prevent job kitting from being successful, but first, let’s look at what a good kitting process looks like.
A Good Job Kitting Process
A good kitting process is built upon two key foundations. First, an organization must have a work management process that has job plans with parts lists and a scheduling process that works 1-4 weeks in advance. This will ensure the storeroom has a true parts list to kit, and will have time to kit or order and kit the required parts prior to the execution of the work.
The second foundation is a storeroom process that has accurate inventory levels, and a process to forecast the part requirements such as a reservation process. In addition, there needs to be a secure area to store the job kits.
With these foundations in place, a job kitting process can be implemented. In a typical job kitting process, the planner will identify all material requirements, change the status of the work order to awaiting kitting (or something similar) and submit those along with an expected execution date to the storeroom, via reservation process. This reservation process may be a reservation list such as SAP’s IWBK transaction, or a copy of the parts list via email.
Once the storeroom receives the reservation request, they will begin the kitting process and if parts are to be ordered, they should update the scheduled date of the work order to reflect the delivery date of the parts. Once all parts are kitted, the storeroom lead should perform a review to ensure all parts are in the kit and correct. Once the kit is verified, the kit should be sealed and the work order status changed to “Ready for Scheduling”.
This status change will indicate to the planner/scheduler that the job is ready for scheduling.
Depending on the size and complexity of the site, the job kit may be delivered to a satellite storeroom, a maintenance shop, or the job site. Otherwise, they will remain in the storeroom until the technician arrives to pick it up.
Barriers to a Job Kitting Process
There are many barriers to setting up a job kitting process;
- No room to set up a kitting area: Start small and don’t worry about building a large kitting area. You need to prove the process and gain support before jumping into a large kitting area.
- Not enough people/time: Having job kits will reduce the amount of work that the storeroom has to do long-term. So make sure that everyone involved understands this. Also, since the process should start small, it should not require too much time initially
- Poor job plans: Accurate job plans are a foundation for the kitting process, so if poor job plans are an everyday thing, then kitting should be delayed.
- Inaccurate storeroom inventory: This can drive extended times to kit and lead to the kitting process being viewed as not working. If there are inaccurate inventory values, this should be a focus of the storeroom prior to starting the kitting process.
Once you have the foundations in place and have identified a plan to overcome the barriers, you are now in a place to begin the kitting process. The first thing to do is map the future state business process with all involved. This will require identifying how the kitting process will work, how the reservation process will work, and even how the communication will work. Once the process is mapped, make sure to create a RACI chart. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page with who will execute each step. Lastly, be sure to select a KPI or two to manage the implementation and sustainment of the process.
If you have any questions about job kitting and how it can help your organization, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m James Kovacevic
Principal Instructor at Eruditio
Where Education Meets Application
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