Spare Parts and Trunk Stock Inventory Management

The way we handle inventory is determined by the inventory kinds we have. When we think of inventory management, we normally think of direct inventory, which are raw materials for manufacturing, and retail or wholesale, which are direct inventory purchases that are shelved to be sold.

In this article, we’ll talk about another type of inventory. It’s called Spare Parts and Trunk Stock Inventory. This type is so dynamic that keeping track of each item’s movement is nearly impossible. Multiple locations and vehicles are common which result in many problems that manual tracking can’t manage. It requires a different strategy than traditional retail inventory management.

In servicing

Trunk stock and spare parts inventory in the field service industry is different from inventory in manufacturing. Items from this type of inventory are most likely kept at a hospital or move around a lot in a vehicle, making them more dynamic. The following are some of the issues and difficulties that come with having a trunk stock inventory:

Storing too many items

Field technicians have a habit of carrying a huge quantity of products with them at all times. They may have just used a small fraction of the inventory, leaving the rest in the trunk. These things are not bringing in immediate revenue, thus the costs are not being covered right away.


Trunk stock is very hard to track. Field technicians often lose track of how much inventory they have when they are focused on providing services to customers. They may recognize what they have, but they usually don’t know how much they have. Items can be lost easily because of no accountability and very low visibility.

Repackaging kits to make them complete

Partially used surgical/medical kits must be returned to a stocking location, sanitized, and repackaged with missing parts to make it a complete set.  It’s impossible to keep an accurate record of these processes when doing it manually.

In manufacturing

The majority of our inventory management knowledge does not apply to spare parts in manufacturing. These are not things that should be put on the shelf to be sold, this type of inventory management has its own set of rules. They’re kept on shelves to service equipment that’s critical to large industrial plants, which can’t afford to have delays due to equipment failures because it will cost them a lot of money.

The following are the things you need to look into when managing a spare parts inventory.

Inventory management system for trunk stock and spare parts

ERP systems are commonly best for retail inventory management. The problems and other things you need to look into in spare parts management are best handled by inventory management systems that address common problems in this type of inventory.

Here’s how inventory management systems can help.

  • Field Service. When storing dynamic items, it’s easy to lose track of everything. With barcoding, inventory mapping, and activity history, cases of missing items and theft would decrease. Managers will be able to see which items were checked out, who checked them out, and where they are located. Everything that comes in and out of the warehouse is accounted for and it is easier to locate products.
  • Manufacturing. Though spare parts inventory moves very slowly, it still plays an important role in the business. The goal is to see exactly where items are located and what quantities are on hand at all times. When these things are needed, managers must locate them quickly to reduce downtime costs, and because the cost is so high, they should be keen on understanding what and how much they have on hold.

No one buys inventory with the intention of wasting money.  How you handle operations and what system you use, determines the outcome for trunk stock and spare parts management.

Some companies find cost-cutting opportunities by examining their inventory to evaluate if the things they have are truly necessary for day-to-day operations. Since trunk stock and spare parts inventory is very dynamic,  inventory managers have put in a lot of work to keep track of almost everything.

They check whether parts and supplies are available or not, what needs to be returned to the stocking point for repacking, and inventory movement in general. The inventory management system can make this process much easier by boosting inventory visibility, it assists businesses in assuring accountability, avoiding shrinkage, and decreasing purchase order errors.

Published by Claude.Rivera

I have a passion for new things. It excites and challenges me. Reading and writing take me to different worlds. Literally, escape. I'm a dancer wannabe and a not-so-pro gamer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: