Spare parts are held to reduce the consequences of equipment downtime, playing an important role in achieving the desired equipment availability at a minimum economic cost. In this paper, a framework for OR in spare parts management is presented, based on the product lifecycle process and including the objectives, main tasks, and OR disciplines for supporting spare parts management. Based on the framework, a systematic literature review of OR in spare parts management is undertaken, and then a comprehensive investigation of each OR discipline’s contribution is given. The gap between theory and practice of spare parts management is investigated from the perspective of software integration, maintenance management information systems and adoption of new OR methods in software. Finally, as the result of this review, an extended version of the framework is proposed and a set of future research directions is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-414
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number1
Early online date29 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2018


  • inventory
  • spare parts management
  • operational research (OR)


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