The Power of Inventory Management

Significant Growth led to overspending and stock outs
A cutting-Edge Space Company experienced significant growth in recent years. However, this growth also posed some challenges for the company's tooling management system.

Tooling items, such as cutting tools, inserts, and holders, are essential for the Space company’s machine shop to produce quality parts that meet tight specifications and tolerances. However, managing tooling inventory can be complex and costly, especially when dealing with multiple suppliers, vendors, and locations. The Space Company faced two main problems with its tooling management:

  • Overspending on tooling purchases - The company lacked a centralized system to track and monitor tooling usage and consumption across its different machines and projects. As a result, the company often ordered more tooling than needed, resulting in excess inventory and wasted capital. Additionally, the company had no visibility of tooling availability and lead times, which made it difficult to optimize tooling procurement and logistics.
  • Stock outs and visibility of available tooling - On the other hand, the company also faced the risk of running out of critical tooling items at any given time, due to unpredictable demand and usage patterns. They needed a solution that would allow them to keep crucial inventory on hand, and provide visibility of available tooling for programmers to plan and execute their machining operations efficiently.

S&D Industrial teamed up with Auto crib and installed a Robo Crib TX-750 vending solution in the machine shop that dispenses various tooling items on demand, such as drill bits, end mills, inserts, and more. The machine is connected to Auto crib’s cloud-based inventory management system, which tracks the usage and availability of each item in real time. The machine also sends automatic alerts when the stock levels are low or need to be replenished.

Figure 1 ROBOCRIB® TX750

By using the Auto Crib TX-750 vending solution, the space company was able to reduce downtime and increase productivity in their machine shop. They no longer have to worry about running out of essential tooling items or ordering them from external suppliers. They can access the inventory they need anytime with just a swipe of their employee card. Moreover, they can monitor the inventory levels and consumption patterns through Auto crib’s online dashboard, which helps them optimize their tooling budget and plan for future projects. Additionally, Arcturus software from Auto crib gave their programming team more visibility of the tools in the Auto crib machine. This helped them to program more efficiently with the available tools.


  • We consolidated the suppliers and used the Auto crib software to return unused and slow-moving inventory back to suppliers. This gave Relativity a product credit of over $60K.
  • The introduction of the Arcturus software gave the space companies programming team more visibility of the tools available in the Auto crib machine. This helped them to program more efficiently with the available tools.
  • We reduced the supplier base by eliminating overlapping products using the Auto crib software. This allowed S&D to streamline inventory for the Space company and improve tooling support. This resulted in eliminating 90% of expedited shipment charges.
  • With the Auto crib software's automatic electronic reordering feature, S&D eliminated stock-outs for the Space company and increased their efficiency and productivity.