22 July, 2018

Vending solution affords major savings for Flowplant

28 August, 2015

UK distributor of industrial maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) products and services, Brammer, has helped Flowplant save 60 per cent on its consumable spend through industrial vending solution, Invend.


Engineering group Flowplant manufactures and supplies equipment for a range of industrial applications, such as drain and sewer cleaning, abrasive blasting and descaling and hydrostatic testing. Working on a range of high profile projects, it is essential for Flowplant to have sufficient stock of consumables to ensure downtime is minimised. One of the problems Flowplant regularly encountered was with small value, high volume items, as they are difficult to track and control in terms of stock holding.

Storage was another problem area for Flowplant, with items either locked up in cupboards which slowed down access, or handed out items to all employees, leading to a high volume of cash tied up in consumable stock. Additionally, Flowplant’s historic management of low-value consumables consisted of paper ordering and the purchasing department having to constantly liaise with stores, which were not always open when stock was required.

Clear understanding

Flowplant’s operators required a system that provided them with a clear understanding of where stock is and how it can be retrieved. Following research into an internal solution, Flowplant contacted Brammer after reading its whitepaper on industrial vending which highlighted the potential savings of between 25 and 40 per cent on consumables.

Brammer’s Invend allowed Flowplant to benefit from an industrial vending machine service without the upfront cost of having to purchase the machine. Brammer installed the Invend machine into Flowplant’s factory, giving site managers a complete oversight of what is being used, by who and how often.

Invend is a vending machine which dispenses a wide range of industrial consumables, ranging from abrasives and cutting tools to hand tools, and from personal protective equipment (PPE) to lubricants and greases. It can be used on a 24/7 basis, providing the user with the right industrial consumables at the time they need them. Additionally, the equipment is maintained by Brammer, as well as the re-ordering system, which automatically notifies Brammer of the need to restock when inventory runs low.

Since implementing the Invend on site, Flowplant has seen savings of around 60 per cent on consumables, a considerable saving for the manufacturer. Moreover, the stock ordering process is effectively outsourced and falls in conjunction with Flowplant’s lean manufacturing philosophy, adding value by reducing unnecessary spend.

Ease of use

Mark Bastable, managing director of Flowplant, said: “We have been delighted with the introduction of Invend in our manufacturing facility. We have received fantastic feedback from our operators, who find the ease of use a considerable benefit, as well as the availability of equipment to them during all times of the day.




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