The truth about MRO

The truth about MRO

Maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) is a term used by businesses to describe the products and tools used to keep a company running. Successful management of parts is vital to maintain productivity and consistency. When equipment breaks or needs a part replaced, the stoppage can cost a substantial amount of time and money. Research has shown that nearly 50% of manufacturing downtime is due to a lack of spare parts. There may be times a spare part is in a storeroom or supply closet but is not found easily due to poor organization. When an item needs to be acquired, a supplier will have to be found, and the part must be picked up or shipped. When MRO inventory is handled effectively, companies can save up to 30% on their annual inventory budget.

What makes up MRO inventory?

MRO is best described as an item used in the production of goods but is not ultimately noticeable in the final result. Products such as gloves, repair tools, janitorial supplies, valves, compressors, and office supplies are all a part of MRO. Depending on the industry, MRO can include many different types of supplies. However, MRO products are usually categorized into a few specific areas: equipment, consumables, upkeep supplies, furniture, and technology.

A properly functioning manufacturing or industrial environment must consider MRO maintenance. There are three types of maintenance categories pertaining to MRO:

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive Maintenance

Consists of routine upkeep and conservation before issues arise; ensures all equipment and processes will continue to operate smoothly.

Corrective Maintenance

Corrective Maintenance

This maintenance happens once a problem has already occurred. An example would be replacing a ball bearing or handling a complete breakdown of equipment.

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive Maintenance

This type of maintenance is performed based on data provided by monitoring systems that track business operations, giving reliable failure predictions.

MRO material management.

In a small business or office setting, MRO purchases are typically small such as pens, printer ink, or bleach for a company bathroom. In large manufacturing plants, MRO stock makes up a significant portion of total purchases made by an organization. In large-scale operations, MRO inventory must be managed effectively so that the company’s bottom line remains unaffected. A close watch should be kept on inventory to ensure that there is not too much overstock. Regular purchase orders must also be made for items used frequently to keep inventory stable. A central location for inventory storage is useful for large organizations that consist of many people and several moving parts. Managers may consider keeping items in separate isolated locations, but without super-efficient inventory management, this can cause issues with under or overstocking. Those who centralize their MRO stock can benefit from digital systems to track and manage items, easier inventory categorization, and can staff their stockroom with a qualified supply chain manager.

Considerations when choosing MRO suppliers.

When deciding which company to contract for MRO supplies, there are a few factors to consider:

  • A company that offers a mixture of name brand and generic products would be a good fit for those who need to shop for items on a budget.
  • A vendor that offers a wide range of MRO supplies can be used as a sole provider. This will save time and money in the long run when multiple purchase orders do not need to be made, and shipping costs can be reduced when ordering in bulk.
  • Experienced MRO vendors often offer inventory management through their network, allowing the company to focus on other areas of running a business while a qualified third party acts as a trusted inventory partner.

Business success is often contingent on MRO.

Although MRO is not frequently thought of strategically, it is an integral part of many companies, especially those who operate in manufacturing and supply chain industries. Keeping track of inventory and contracting a well-stocked and experienced MRO supplier can elevate a company and help hold a solid bottom line.