When we purchase stock parts, our suppliers will sometimes switch part numbers on us (different part numbers due to country of origin; but 100% equivalent part). When this happens, we have to set the old part number to run out, set the min and max to 0, create the new part number and set the min and max on that new part number to the previous levels on the old part number (so we do not keep getting new PO suggestions for the old part number). A few months later, when we try to re-order the new part, our supplier changes back to the old part number (because that must be the inventory they have). At that point we change the runout and min and max for both parts.
Is there a way to “share” on-hand quantity between more than 1 part if they are equivalent parts? We do not want to keep more inventory on hand than what we need to and we would prefer to not constantly switch the min and max back and forth between the part numbers.
For example, we have a part with a minimum of 1500 pieces and a max of 2000 pieces (we allow consumption of minimum and reorder to max). When we drop to below 1500 pieces, we get a new po suggestion to reorder another approximately 500 pieces (to bring the on-hand back up to 2000 pieces). If the vendor changes the part number on us, and we change the min and max to the new part number, we do not want to order another 2,000 pieces of the new part while we still have 1500 pieces of the old part in stock. Setting a lower min and max on the new part, until inventory levels of the old part are reduced is a possibility, but would require more maintenance and for multiple different part numbers would get very difficult.
I had though about using a Supplier part number, but I really only think that would work if the quantity on hand was shared between the parts so that suggestions only get generated when the combined inventory levels drop below the min. This would cover the purchasing side (because both part numbers would be referenced on the POs), but not the sales side. We also should communicate to our customer that the part number they have ordered has changed to the new part number (we manually do this by entering the old part number as the Customer part number on the sales order). That way the Order Acknowledgement and Invoice reference the old and new part numbers.
Any suggestions on how best to tackle this issue?