New inventory efficiencies save Fort Knox over $13 million

Two years ago, Fort Knox set out to significantly reduce their inventory. With cross-departmental and inter-office collaboration, the impressive results have now saved the site over US$13 million.

Inventory management is important to ensure that money is efficiently spent on necessary supplies and that stock at site does not go unused for long periods of time. By ensuring an efficient use of inventory, funds that are in supplies can be used for important items and projects.

Fort Knox reached a peak of inventory of US$40million in November 2014. Now, inventory stands at US$26.3 million without any disruptions in service.

“It’s essential to find the right balance of having enough supplies on hand to meet our operating needs, but at the same time, not have money tied up in unnecessary items,” said Greg Duschek, Site Controller.

It was a team effort to make it possible. The Supply Chain group began the process with an in-depth analysis of site stock, quantities and inventory aging. They did an item-by-item review, which also helped the team to become familiar with every item at the site.

The Site Maintenance and Supply Chain teams included: Clint Nebeker, Mine Manager; John Gross, Materials Superintendent; Pat Filbin, Mobile Equipment Maintenance Superintendent, Derek Lakey, Mobile Equipment Maintenance Reliability Engineer; Grant Ojaniemi, Mobile Equipment Maintenance Planner; Jason Anderson, Inventory Control Analyst, Larry Mantei, Process Control Supervisor and Greg Duschek.

“A team approach made this happen,” Greg said. “The success can be attributed to the fact that we all worked together with one goal in mind.”

Fort Knox identified that a big cost contributor was the overstock of tires. Wilton Woo, Director, Supply Chain, and Clint Nebeker along with support from Nick Macan, Senior Manager, Supply Chain Operations, coordinated negotiations with Bridgestone tires to relieve the site of its unneeded tire allocation, a significant inventory and cost reduction.

In addition, Alan Pinnington, Consultant, provided an online tool that enabled Fort Knox Supply Chain to set re-ordering parameters within Kinross’ internal software system to make full use of its capabilities and assist with managing inventory.

As well, the newly created Fort Knox Inventory Control Analyst position generates a monthly inventory report to constantly monitor stock and ensure efficiencies are captured and cost savings are realized.

“We are proud of our accomplishments and look forward to continuing the new processes so that working capital and site resources are not unnecessarily tied up,” continued Greg. “Thank you to everyone involved.”

Fort Knox

The Fort Knox mill