In this time of a possible second wave, supply chain uncertainty and a fragile consumer market, you may be considering changing your just enough, just in time policy or your product as a whole. Its robust to have parts/spares on the shelf especially if you can guarantee they will be used but you must seriously consider the following:

• If equipment has a warranty, does it start while its on your shelf?
• If it contains active parts, is there a care and maintenance process to ensure it will work when used?
• Are there any storage requirements you need to meet to ensure serviceability and warranty?

To treat valuable future use equipment as a box on a shelf may leave you with nothing more than a usable box. Bulk buying equipment can be a cost saving but only if you have the procedures in place to ensure that what you have bought stays as ready for use as the day it left your supplier. Aside from the additional cost, there are few things less reputationally damaging than fitting state of the art equipment for a client and it not working because you haven’t maintained it while in storage.

Engineering Management takes many forms, the things staring us in the face are easy to look after, it’s the things we need in an emergency or from a warehouse later that are often forgotten.