Research & Best Practices

MRO Maintenance Programs: Exploring the Options


It’s important to get your MRO inventory management program right. MRO (maintenance, repair and operating supply) frequently takes a back seat to other processes and concerns, often making it inefficient and disorderly. However, a properly regulated MRO inventory management system can increase productivity, reduce costs and improve other activities throughout the facility.

There are several ways to handle MRO inventory management — take a look at a few of the methods below.

MRO maintenance options

There are three primary options for MRO management:

  • In-house management — All technical and procurement processes are handled by staff.
  • Outsourcing to an MRO storeroom integrator — A supplier will leverage his or her purchasing power to achieve inventory ordering economies of scale. The integrator will manage the physical storeroom and handle procurement and buying.
  • Working with an experienced, reliability-focused partner — A trusted MRO professional can reduce overall demand and consumption of parts; apply root cause analysis to determine underlying reasons for failures; and achieve efficiency through intelligent parts management programs.

Usually, the first two methods present challenges in implementation and operation for the following reasons:

  • With in-house management, organizations often encounter difficulty allocating resources, prioritizing MRO, providing technical support when required and maintaining systems availability.
  • With a storeroom integrator, the cost savings you see at the beginning are achieved through the buying power of the supplier. However, these programs typically do not focus on reducing parts consumption or improving overall productivity, and thus encounter an endpoint where the savings plateau.

The benefits of utilizing a reliability-focused MRO partner

With a trusted MRO partner, the challenges and pitfalls mentioned above can be easily resolved or avoided altogether. An MRO partners are solely dedicated to MRO, ensuring the program is never deprioritized. In addition, your partner would handle all resourcing and leverage the same buying power as an integrated supplier for per part cost savings. Plus, companies that specialize in this area can offer expertise to improve asset management, streamline maintenance, reduce part usage, increase productivity and provide long-term savings. Storeroom integrator will often focus solely on the lowest per-part cost — which may actually increase usage and overall costs — an MRO partner measures success across numerous other production KPIs.

The benefits of collaborating with an MRO expert include:

  • Increased focus on your core business and functions
  • More effective inventory management with no excess parts on hand
  • Improved employee productivity
  • The right parts are always on hand when needed
  • Excess consumables are not discarded or surplussed, reducing waste
  • More advantageous pricing
  • Better transparency into MRO and inventory processes

If you are looking to improve your MRO inventory management strategy, we can help. ATS provides reliability-focused MRO services as a stand-alone solution, or part of our comprehensive maintenance offering. For more information about how we can help optimize your MRO program, contact a rep today.

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