Out of hours PPE and consumables

Snapshot

E-tradeway reviewed the process for issuing and replenishing essential PPE products and consumables at a multiple location, multiple users, 24/7, 365 days a year MRO operation.

Challenge

At this organisation the majority of the work is completed out of hours between 17:00 and 07:00 daily, with longer hours worked at weekends. There are issues with supplying essential PPE products and consumable items out of hours and to a workforce that operates in multiple locations.

The stores' operation is closed from 17:00 to 07:00 daily, therefore, in each location, out of hours stock was being issued from a table and double-door cupboard. In most locations, the area was open to employees and contractors. Replenishment of these items was completed by the store man at the end of the day.

We noted that there was no formal reorder process in place and that usage volumes were not monitored. As the process was a little unreliable, users were taking products when they could get them, often taking more than they needed to ensure they would not run out during the shift.

Solution

We proposed the implementation of an automated dispenser solution that would make essential PPE and consumable items available on a 24/7, 365-basis. It would be accessed by a unique user card with a full reporting and reordering capability.

We commenced the project with a pilot of one machine at one location to confirm that we were dispensing the correct range.

The project was introduced to three other locations and expanded to eight machines, four of which were dedicated to essential PPE items and four were dedicated to consumables products.

During this phase we identified that 51% of the issues were made after 17:00 and before 07:00. The product supplier assigned to replenish the machines was able to access and utilise online reporting enabling all the machines to be replenished during the day.

Benefits & outcomes
  • The pilot was considered a success and a further 25 machines at an additional five locations were installed to provide the same service.
  • In one month, these machines made 7235 issues to 683 different users. Of these issues, 3957 or 54.6% were made after 17:00 and before 07:00.
  • This project has created valuable data to enable the organisation to determine which employee has not used the assigned PPE and address this with them.
  • Product usage figures can be compared to identify changes and trends.
  • This data can also be used to confirm that products are providing the performance stated by the manufacturer.
  • This result demonstrates how successfully automated dispensing can be used to address the issue of managing out of hours PPE and consumables requirements.
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