Original Research

Managing the maintenance inventory of a cement manufacturer

Morne Eloff, Stephen Carstens
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 7, No 1 | a104 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v7i1.104 | © 2013 Morne Eloff, Stephen Carstens | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 June 2013 | Published: 20 November 2013

About the author(s)

Morne Eloff, Department of Business Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Stephen Carstens, Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (Africa), University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Inventory management is a crucial aspect of managing a company successfully. This is even more apparent in the case of maintenance inventories for production equipment, which impact directly on production equipment efficiency. This is a typical inventory management issue for a cement manufacturer that faces the problem of managing its maintenance inventories optimally when certain maintenance items have exceptionally long lead times (100 weeks) and values in excess of R500 000. An assessment of the cement manufacturer’s approach to managing its maintenance inventories indicated various shortcomings, which have resulted in a significant level of obsolescence. One approach to managing maintenance inventories efficiently is to implement a classification of the inventory items in terms of their criticality to the cement production process. The critical nature of a component could be established through a risk-based approach (minimisation of the risk of production loss) and taking into account the type of maintenance (planned vs unplanned) that the component is required for. A risk-based approach should form the basis of the maintenance inventory management of the cement manufacturer as this would allow the cement manufacturer to utilise other inventory management methods effectively. In addition, it is important to ensure that employees are well versed in the different inventory management approaches utilised and that high levels of integration between departments are pursued.


Maintenance inventory; risk-based


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