Research & Best Practices

Should Your Maintenance Provider Source Parts For You?

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Sourcing parts is a major function of any MRO plan — and while it is a necessary practice, it presents a host of challenges. Even with a repair-first mindset, there will come a time when you’ll need to source components to get machinery and equipment back up and running.

Challenges of Sourcing Parts

Some of the challenges of sourcing parts are inherent in the process, while some may arise only for obsolete and more difficult-to-find components. In either case, these challenges can be a strain on your time and often get in the way of more productive tasks. So what makes sourcing parts so difficult?

  • Sourcing parts is time-consuming — Sourcing and inventory management — pricing, vendor management, delivery coordination, reconciliation and more — are often among the most tedious tasks involved in managing MRO. Each of these takes a considerable amount of research and communication, which ultimately takes up a lot of your time.
  • The right part can be difficult to find — For older machinery, sourcing for replacement or obsolete parts and components becomes more difficult as production of these parts decreases in favor of newer equipment. The rarer the parts become, the more time you will need to spend tracking them down.

Advantages of Using a Maintenance Partner for Sourcing

A third-party maintenance company or MRO vendor can solve these headaches for you by managing the part-sourcing function of your operations. With a maintenance partner handling your sourcing, you gain several advantages.

Short-term benefits include:

  • Streamlined processes — Sourcing parts often requires a juggling act, managing vendors, deliveries, machinery, inventory and more. With multiple OEM or replacement manufacturers to maintain contact with, keeping track of your emails or phone calls alone can take hours out of your day. An MRO partner is able to manage these processes much more efficiently, leveraging economies of scale and existing vendor relationships to take these management processes off of your plate.
  • Lower costs — Warranties are expensive, and the fulfillment of them in cases of equipment failure can take more time than it’s worth. MRO partners can be contracted for a range suitable to your budget – relative to multiple warranties – and are better able to manage the logistics and fulfillment of your maintenance part sourcing.

Long-term benefits include:

  • Greater efficiency — MRO contractors are experts at what they do. With a very concentrated area of focus, they’re able to carry out a wide variety of maintenance-related tasks – including part sourcing – quickly and efficiently. So if you chose to partner with an outsourced industrial maintenance provider, you will gain that benefit.
  • Longer service life for your equipment — With a maintenance company handling your MRO operations, you can be assured that scheduled maintenance will occur on time. Unplanned maintenance issues are handled quickly, efficiently and properly; and optimal operation specs and calibration of your equipment will be followed to the letter. With all these benefits – along with the assurance that your parts sourcing and repairs are handled properly – your current machinery will perform better and have increased longevity.

Are you looking for a maintenance partner with parts sourcing expertise? If so, ATS has got you covered. For more information on how we can help with all your parts repair and sourcing needs, contact us today.

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