Mark Hannant

Fairchild Fasteners arrived at the show in upbeat mood with a new on-floor inventory control system to unveil and clutching a freshly-inked $51.8 million contract from Boeing.

The VendFast inventory control system has been developed as part of the company's strategy, announced at Asian Aerospace 2000, to build on its 80-year tradition of product sales and offer additional services to customers. The system is similar to a traditional vending machine but has real-time component usage tracking and replenishment. Importantly, it allows the issuing of a single monthly invoice to a customer rather than the multitude that has historically been produced. "This revolutionary inventory control system also streamlines the entire inventory and procurement process and functions 24 hours a day," says Fairchild Fasteners president Eric Steiner.

For Fairchild Fasteners' original equipment manufacturer customers it now means the exact number of components can be accessed quickly, reducing wastage.

With the back-up of an internet-based monitoring procedure, the system is able to provide real-time information on stock levels. This information drives the replenishment process. VendFast machines have already been installed at European manufacturing sites and early reports suggest that parts usage is immediately declining as the system introduces more efficient use of parts. Since customers are only paying from what they take out of the machine, costs are coming down.


Ernest Marhenke, president of Fairchild Fasteners Europe, explains the benefits for those customers on this side of the Atlantic. "Additional benefits for manufacturers include: no single item purchase orders, lower capital investment in inventory, no stock or inventory holding costs, rapid absorption and integration of inventory, improved data control and reduced Fast Shop activities relating to both personnel and inventory."

Source: Flight Daily News