Building Cat® equipment requires having a lot of “indirect inventory” on hand for our employees – things like safety glasses, gloves, ear plugs and other necessities. Those items can be hard to keep track of, but through the use of automated dispensing machines, Caterpillar can now manage this inventory with better data visibility, accuracy and completeness than ever before.
In 2012, our Global Supply Network piloted its Automated Indirect Inventory Management (AIIM) initiative at the company’s North Little Rock, Arkansas, facility – using onsite vending machines to better manage and dispense indirect supplies.
From there, the concept and results spread. To date, and in less than three years, the Global Supply Network team has collaborated with multiple Caterpillar locations to launch AIIM across the globe. Most recently in 2015, the initiative reached a key milestone of deploying AIIM at 100 Caterpillar facilities – with 600 vending machines globally connected and delivering point-of-use value. As a result, the enterprise can use the analytics to leverage its global scale to reduce consumption, indirect inventory and costs.