Free Service Parts Supply-Chain Diagnostic Available Online

By Deborah Austin An interactive diagnostic tool -- offered free online by business consulting/systems integration firm Syncata Corp., El Segundo, Calif. -- is designed to help service parts and other aftermarket companies analyze their supply-chain operations' effectiveness. The tool -- at Syncata's Service Parts Assessment and Re-Engineering Strategies (SPARES) resource center ( www.syncata.com/spares/home.asp) -- is available free of charge in exchange for registering online at the center. The SPARES diagnostic tool asks the visitor a series of questions in five categories: demand planning, inventory management, procurement, warehouse management and supply-chain strategy. It then uses the answers to formulate a simple quantitative analysis and summary of that company's aftermarket parts supply-chain strengths and weaknesses -- giving numerical scores and general recommendations based on those scores in each category.

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