In this paper, we examine the impact of repair priorities in spare part networks. Several heuristics for assigning priorities to items as well as optimising stock levels are developed, extending the well-known VARI-METRIC method. We model repair shops by multi-class, multi-server priority queues. A proper priority setting may lead to a significant reduction in the inventory investment required to attain a target system availability (usually 10–20%). The saving opportunities are particularly high if the utilisation of the repair shops is high and if the item types sharing the same repair shop have clearly different characteristics (price, repair time). For example, we find an investment reduction of 73% for a system with single server repair shops with an utilisation of 0.90 that handle five different item types.
- Spare parts