April 28, 2016
The Case of the Missing Parts
By: David Pyke

Dr. Chris Carr is a surgeon in a superb teaching hospital. His cousin, Andrew, runs manufacturing for a strong company that assembles complex machines. In spite of working in such different environments, they have an identical problem. Just when critical parts are needed the most, they seem to be missing. As an example, recently, when Chris had a patient in surgery, he needed a certain tool and it was not on the surgery cart. A nurse literally had to run out of the operating room to find it. In a similar scenario, Andrew’s assembly operators were pushing to get a machine out the door to an important customer, and several of the key parts and components were not available. No one seemed to know where they were and why they hadn’t been delivered to the assembly area. A late shipment could harm the future relationship with the customer.  

This could be a TV mystery called The Case of the Missing Parts. A plan for every part (PFEP) is a database and a process specifically designed to solve Chris and Andrew’s dilemmas.  

It’s fine to suggest a database to solve the Case of the Missing Parts, but the successful consultant or leader will need to know in detail what a PFEP is. What information does it contain? And should it include all the parts used in surgery or in manufacturing, or just the critical ones?  

In brief, a PFEP contains all the relevant information about every part. For Chris, it would include simple items, such as gauze, as well as more complex ones, such as surgical drills. For Andrew, it would capture all parts, including simple fasteners, as well as purchased motors.  

But does it provide any value other than finding missing parts? A database seems like an involved solution to a pretty simple problem. Yet the PFEP can help a firm with numerous improvement initiatives. It can help optimize inventory, streamline materials handling, and even standardize packaging. One of the greatest benefits is enhancing a manager’s ability to implement lean manufacturing and lean materials handling.  

To achieve these benefits, the consultant or leader needs to understand what a PFEP is and the data it contains. Furthermore, they must be able to identify why each data element is included in the plan and what value the PFEP can bring to the organization.  

Are there parts issues in your organization that a PFEP can help solve? How might you persuade the organization to undertake a PFEP implementation? The Accenture Academy courses What a Plan for Every Part (PFEP) Is, Components of a Plan for Every Part (PFEP), and Benefits of a Plan for Every Part (PFEP) thoroughly explain the PFEP method and its benefits for your business.

About Accenture Academy

Accenture Academy offers proven, cost-effective learning solutions for a more versatile workforce and a more agile organization. We provide a flexible learning approach that helps your people be more versatile and your entire organization be more agile in the marketplace. Curriculum includes Supply Chain Management, Finance, Procurement, Analytics, Leadership & Management and Specialty Skills.


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