People often think it's easy to pop into a warehouse and look for a part; we explain why that's not possible these days.
People don't understand just how vast the range of spare parts are and that very often, you need the correct part exactly or it will not fit or work.
When the going gets tough, we can be asked just to have a look.
Quite reasonably people think, as they don't know, that's not as easy as it sounds.
Spare Part Bin Locations
Warehouses are "alive", things move, some parts go obsolete or are no longer stocked due to low use so, in any warehouse that's even more than a few months old, you won't have all the parts of the same type in the same place. They will be scattered to different aisles, bins, shelves and so forth so to find one; you need to know where it is.
To find where it is, you need to know the bin location.
To find the bin location, you need to know the part number to see that.
To find the part number, you need to know the make, model and these days often product code or serial number, sometimes both.
This against a backdrop of often scores of model variations, hundreds in some cases making guessing not viable.
The notion that all belts are together, all brushes, pumps, elements and more is not practical to maintain in a modern and efficient warehouse. Many try but usually fail to maintain all similar items grouped.
Many, many larger spares suppliers have parts held in not only different locations as explained above but, also spread over multiple buildings, some even in different countries.
That makes popping down and having a look just utterly impossible.
Time & Cost
Bluntly put, to send a person down into a warehouse to search through hundreds or thousands of bin locations to try to visually identify an item that all too possibly isn't even there is, not viable.
To do that where people want sizes as well doubles down on the time and honestly, for the amount of profit there is in a part it's just not viable at all to offer as a service.
Please do keep in mind, staff don't come to work for free.
What we can do is, if we recognise a part we might, just might know what it is but there's no guarantee.
An Impossible Task
All this is why that most times you ask a parts supplier to look and visually for a part in the warehouse, they're not trying to be difficult at all by not doing it; it's that they really can't as explained.
To try to hunt through even a moderately sized spare part warehouse could take hours and hours, if not days. It really isn't viable to do that.