Home > Resources > Articles

3 Ways Industrial Vending Can Reduce Metal Cutting Tool Costs

Without proper oversight, tools and other maintenance, repair, and operations equipment quickly disappear. Loss, breakage, waste, and theft can send inventory costs spiraling out of control. Just as harmful, productivity suffers when mission-critical tools are out of stock, stored far from where they are needed, or squirreled away by workers for use on future projects.

Industrial vending machines help metal fabricators and machine shops rein in costs by:

  • Boosting productivity
  • Reducing waste
  • Making informed purchasing decisions

This is accomplished because industrial vending machines:

1. Eliminate Waste and Shrinkage

Buying less is the most obvious way your company can save money on metal cutting tools and other consumables. Industrial vending machines help you accomplish this by making inventory last longer. Metal fabrication shops that implement industrial vending routinely report immediate savings of 20% or more. Simply knowing their tool usage is being monitored is enough for most employees to become more conscientious in their consumption. They take better care of company property and refrain from using it on unauthorized applications or taking it for personal use.

But even if the presence of industrial vending machines does not prompt more responsible behavior immediately, they allow managers to force more efficient cutting tool usage by tracking and limiting the number and type of tool a particular employee, department, or job number can receive over a given time period.

2. Ensure Availability

Any advantage is lost if productivity suffers because employees who really need the tools can’t get their hands on them. Industrial vending machines ensure necessary tools are available when and where they are needed, cutting the costs associated with inefficiencies and suboptimal productivity. Compact and decentralized, the machines cut the time it takes for workers to collect what they need. Rather than walking across the plant to a tool crib or requesting materials from a central warehouse, employees simply enter their authorization (a fingerprint, badge number, RFID, etc.). A familiar, interactive “shopping cart” interface makes item selection simple. The vending machine delivers what the employee needs, and he or she is back to work in minutes.

Knowing the right cutting tool or MRO supply is available with the press of a button eliminates the incentive for employees to hoard equipment, which can lead to lots of supply chain nightmares:

  • False shortages
  • Over-ordering
  • Stockouts
  • Excessive carrying costs
  • Inventory obsolescence.

On a larger scale, companies can harness industrial vending machine technology as part of integrated supply chain solutions. Comprehensive reports alert procurement managers when to reorder supplies. Machines can even trigger automatic orders when inventory falls to a pre-set level.

3. Create Strategic Advantage

Industrial vending machine software turns usage data into actionable reports supervisors and managers can use to make division-wide and company-wide decisions on metal cutting tool selection, procurement, maintenance, refurbishment, and inventory levels. For instance, decision makers can easily see which tools are in greatest demand and which are ignored in favor of substitutes. They can phase out orders for little-used items.

These decisions can create sustainable strategic advantage by streamlining the organization’s supply chain and reducing the number of stock keeping units that must be kept on hand. Automation and visibility reduce data-entry ordering errors and keep rush orders – and the premiums associated with them – to a minimum.

CMT’s Industrial Vending Solutions At Work

Using industrial vending machines ensures access to taps, end mills, drill bits, abrasives, and other consumables, making them available when and where they are needed, but also provides the ability to restrict quantities and items used. They also give management a valuable tool for making strategic decisions that can streamline ordering and manufacturing processes, leading to real cost savings across the board. Check out our industrial vending machine solutions from AutoCrib and contact us today to speak with a representative about how we can help reduce your metal cutting tool costs.