Down the years, SCA has benefited greatly from SSG Product Database through the opportunity to loan spare parts between the different companies and plants within the Group.
“It’s been a strategically important element for us, to be able to make use of this facility. The loans are commonly used, they take place frequently and are even increasing significantly,” says Lars Nilsson, Central Planner at SCA Graphic Sundsvall.
“When something’s broken or worn out, we always try to find spare parts within the company first. If we in the Sundsvall region can borrow from SCA Munksund, for example, we have a lead time of eight hours, compared with a delivery from a subcontractor, which can take several weeks. This opportunity to borrow has increased our operational reliability in a totally different way. At the same time we’ve been able to reduce our warehousing costs, as all plants don’t need to keep all spare parts in stock themselves,” says Lars Nilsson.
Collaboration on spare parts within the SCA Group has been up and running since 2015.
“When we divided up SCA, it became even simpler and a must for us to be able to collaborate internally. We now have regular meetings within the steering group for spare parts with participants from all the mills, at which we share experiences and discuss how we can best help each other out. We try to meet up once a quarter physically, but we also have spontaneous meetings if something crops up that demands this,” says Lars Nilsson, continuing:
“There are a lot of financial transactions, in which we transfer value between locations, and they add up quickly to become large sums. And the fact that we gain a greater insight into each other’s operations has in itself resulted in an increase in spare part loans.”
One very recent example was when SCA Östrand was about to deploy part of the new factory.
“There were a number of incidents that resulted in a number of pump wheels, bearings and seals breaking. When the number of pump wheels passed what we had in our own stores at Östrand and Ortviken, we borrowed some first of all from SCA Munksund and SCA Obbola, and finally from BillerudKorsnäs Frövi as well. We took delivery of all the parts in time and never needed to stop the deployment. It all worked really well.”
Collaboration within SSG Product Database also makes it possible to borrow from competitors.
“It’s commonplace in our industry that we borrow spare parts from one another. We help out when a need arises and matters are urgent. It saves us both time and money. In the forestry industry we have large amounts of capital tied up in our spare parts warehouses, and we have written procedures describing what to do when borrowing from one another. We reduce our warehousing costs by not needing to have all spare parts in all our stores.”
Another positive effect is that the increased lending turnover means that we also have newer spare parts, which in the longer term makes the whole industry safer. All management of spare parts is risk management, says Lars Nilsson, concluding:
“We’re just at the beginning of our internal collaboration. We’ll be able to find more areas for collaboration, for example joint factory standards for component levels. We can then further optimise spare parts management as we’ll then know that we have the same spare parts at all plants. There are major savings to be made here too.”