Given the dearth of options available for tracking inventory, we’d like to think that stockouts, tool changes that cause downtime and scrap, and double orders were all problems of the past, but unfortunately, they remain common. At some point this year, a CNC Programmers/Machinists will experience a stockout or missing tool. Why do these stockouts happen? Simple, poor collaboration and inventory management. A project is going just as planned, a tool change comes up, and dumbstruck, a crucial tool someone thought was available is nowhere to be found. Frantic searching zaps time, calls are made, rush orders placed, and before you know it, budgets are busted.

The awful stockout shuffle is all too familiar. Stockouts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to inventory management problems. Looking for tools, unplanned downtime, and increases in overhead on a job all happen frequently enough that profitability takes a hit. Shops of all sizes are quickly realizing that a refined digital inventory management system is crucial for maintaining and improving efficiency.

Research has shown that:

  • 20% of a machinist’s time is spent looking for tools
  • 16% of scheduled jobs are stopped by a lack of tooling
  • 40-80% of a supervisor’s time is spent chasing tools

Cost savings and increased productivity provide a quick return on investment when any quality Tool Management system is implemented, including an average of 50% savings on freight expenses. A big driver of these quick returns is the ease and affordability of implementing better tool management.

The good news is that programmers have another, common sense approach to inventory management that lines up perfectly with their tool research and selection workflow. Since MachiningCloud helps machinists find the tools they need for a job quickly and easily, users want to do more than save their tool selections; they want to track cutting tool inventory digitally as well. MachiningCloud users will notice a new tab in their user account in the newest version.*

MachiningCloud Cutting Tool Inventory Management
In the most recent release of MachiningCloud, we added a new “Inventory System” tab within user account settings. Inventories can be setup and managed here so that they can track individual items, part numbers and quantities. In addition, quickly connect and sync with existing inventory systems such ToolBOSS and Matrix. Every tooling component that is saved to a user’s “My Inventory” tab can then be tracked and accessed for availability.

MachiningCloud’s My Inventory feature gives CAM programmers the ability to track multi-brand tooling assemblies, and see each parts availability. Instead of each person that’s part of a job doing their own research, CAM programmers can do it once and then let everyone else see the tool’s availability. There’s no need to chase down distributors now that there’s one place to keep an eye on all stock choices and availability. Top down cutting tool management lets programmers set preferred tooling choices for machinists who need to select tooling in the future, and find it if it’s available. Items that are available in My Inventory gives machinists the tool they need at the time they need it.

Stockouts and questions about cutting tool availability/location should be artifacts of the past. MachiningCloud makes digital cutting tool management, from selection to part location, quick and easy. Save time, save money, and save your project’s efficiency by diving deeper into MachiningCloud’s advanced cutting tool functionality today.

* The old inventory tab under My Tools was moved to the My Inventory section to accommodate the new inventory management features which now allow external inventory to be listed. My Tools is for storing search selections and tooling assemblies. My Inventory is for tracking tooling supply.

** If you already use a cutting tool inventory tracker like ToolBOSS and Matrix, no sweat. You can connect these tools so that they sync with MachiningCloud.