Help is coming for the circular economy! Platform to help you find industrial automation parts.
Modern cloud solutions are constantly expanding into new industrial areas. Industry 4.0 is not just big ideas that will revolutionise the industry of tomorrow – it is all already happening today. However, the following issues still exist:
- How can you minimise the cost of a traditional warehouse?
- How can you shorten delivery times?
- Where can you find parts which are no longer manufactured?
We decided to have a closer look at the industrial automation sector and find a solution, which could resolve all those issues. We created Automa.Net, a platform that we are currently introducing to the market.
How we came up with the idea.
‘How many parts should I order and store in the warehouse?’ This is the question that gives Procurement Managers a serious headache. There are plenty of theories, different models, analyses, which have been created to help optimise the purchasing process, but the biggest problem for managers is still finding the right balance between the availability of the product and the cost of storing it.
On one hand, the list of all the crucial replacement parts you should always have in stock seems unending, on the other, your accounts department is constantly reminding you how much it costs to keep them in-house. In theory, what seems like the perfect solution is a paradox: have as many items as possible available immediately but store as little as possible. This is exactly where the concept of the Virtual Warehouse comes in. Essentially, it is the data on what is available without having to overload the warehouse or the pocket. That’s not all though. Imagine a situation where you have a client who requires a part urgently and you haven’t got it in stock. You have called every single contact but to no avail. Finally, the manufacturer says: “Yes of course we can get you the part….it’s a 32-week lead time” The only thing you can do in this situation is waiting, right? What if you could access the part elsewhere?
Let’s put things into perspective. There are over 10 000 distributors in the world operating within the automation industry, so there is a good chance that at least one of them will have the part you need in stock, available NOW! It is also possible they would love to sell it as it’s been on the shelf in the warehouse for too long. The question is, who is this company and are they based in the same town, country, continent?
So far there has not been a tool in the market to access such information and we decided that we can help with that. We don’t want to change the market, we just want to make things easier. The concept is very straightforward but it’s easier said than done! All we need to do is create the largest possible database of available parts held by automation distributors.
There are over 10 000 distributors in the world operating within the automation industry, so there is a good chance that at least one of them will have the part you need in stock…
How does it work?
It all started in November 2020, we decided to create a database for the automation sector. Automa.Net is simply a platform allowing the distributors working with automation to share the information on their available inventory. Currently, 200 distributors (June 2021) are listing over 1,500,000 individual part numbers, including brands like Siemens, Omron, ABB, Allen-Bradley, Schneider, the list goes on (about 10.000 in total). It is all online. A distributor who has the inventory to sell can upload it to the site making it searchable by other distributors using their own account on Automa.Net.net.
Every user uploading their inventory automatically gains access to the parts listed by other distributors. The data is secure and exclusive for distributors. No end-users or OEMs have access to the information and distributors cannot see each other’s full inventory lists, they can only see who currently has the individual part they have searched for.
Automa.Net’s main goal is to improve the trading process for hard-to-find parts. On the one hand, we facilitate faster access to the part that your client needs, on the other, we help you sell your excess inventory. According to market research, an average of 30% of all parts that are stocked in warehouses have a very low or zero levels of rotation. Automa.Net gives you the opportunity to re-circulate those parts. As the number of users increases, the number of transactions on the platform is also growing and many new beneficial business relationships are forming. To sum up, the task we have at hand is not the easiest one, but from the feedback we have gathered, we understand that this solution is needed, and we have already got some very positive results to share. Many companies have already acquired new contractors, optimized their inventory and started to actively use the tool.
“On the one hand, we facilitate faster access to the part that your client needs, on the other, we help you sell your excess inventory”
Thanks for reading,