A Guide To MRO
The world of Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) is a complex one as it covers each and every activity that is used in order to keep a facility and everything inside of it in good working order. The sole aim of MRO is to keep a business operationally running as smoothly as possible.
By having a robust MRO system in place, a company will have a better level of control over the very processes that have a direct impact on their level of cash flow. This allows for business continuity in the event of sudden failures with equipment thanks to proactive measures implemented.
With MRO management, overstock and stock-outs have requirements that are not only different but also competing. Where there is overstock it means that too much inventory is being held, whereas stock-outs can and do lead to downtime – something that can prove very costly for any business. This is why finding a balance between the two is imperative for a business, regardless of its size.
The repairing and maintenance of equipment is inevitable for any business. A proactive MRO maintenance system enables strategies towards the maintenance of machinery to have a greater level of agility so that the response of the business is not focused on reacting to the situation.
As is clear then, MRO can and does have a huge impact on businesses, with 94 percent of company executives stating that they believe it has a significant amount of importance for their particular organization.
The Categories Of MRO
The activities relating to MRO can be grouped into four different and distinct categories as set out below.
- Consumables & Tools – There are different types of consumables and tools that are used on a daily basis to perform preventative type maintenance and repairs to equipment and machinery. Some examples of these things include hand tools like pliers and wrenches, power tools like drills and sanders, personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and safety glasses, consumable products like sandpaper and adhesives, office supplies, and janitorial supplies. Because these things are smaller than the equipment used for material handling and production purposes losing or displacing them is an easy thing to do. This is why the good management of tools is an important part of MRO.
- Production Equipment Repair & Maintenance – For modern production techniques, machinery is the absolute cornerstone on which everything else rests. However, what is inevitable with these is that due to wear and tear, they will malfunction and cause delays and even downtime of production. Set back like these can have a serious impact on not only the reputation of a business, but also its bottom line. MRO in relation to manufacturing equipment involves conducting maintenance work routinely, emergency repairs, inventory control for spare parts, and installing equipment for the purpose of monitoring the condition of machinery.
- Infrastructure Repair & Maintenance – In order to mitigate against degradation and ensure that all facilities are properly upkept, all infrastructure needs to be maintained and repaired regularly.
- Material Handling Equipment Repair & Maintenance – Production is unable to start if the material that needs to be input is unable to get from the warehouse and on to the production line. This means that if a forklift or a pallet truck becomes broken, then production is likely to grind to a halt. Similarly, if a robot arm or a conveyor belt is not correctly maintained and it breaks, this will result in a halt to production. Whilst some equipment may not be involved in the production process directly, they still represent essential pieces of machinery that are required for the stable running of certain production processes.
As is the case with each and every type of MRO activity, it can either be handled by a team in house or outsourced and passed on to a third party supplier to handle instead. The direction that is chosen here is mainly dependent upon the level of insight and control that is wanted / required over the process of maintenance, what the company’s budget is, the skills of the in house team(s), and the finer details of any property licensing agreements that are currently in place.
Managing MRO Costs
For many organizations, MRO comes at a high financial cost. This is particularly true in those industries that are asset intensive. For this reason, the management pipeline for the inventory of spare parts should be optimized so that teams are able to perform strategic purchases when using mro procurement for items such as spare parts. By better forecasting inventory needs, businesses are able to ship bulk orders and limit the need for emergency orders that are very costly. Additionally, it also minimizes the chance of situations of over stock or stock outs from occurring, thus saving money in the long run.
By having some sort of mobile maintenance software in place that helps to create productivity improvements, it makes managing costs that much easier. This is why so many companies choose to adopt and implement this type of software.
As is clear from the above, the world of MRO is a highly complex one for lots of businesses out there, but not all of them.
For instance, a small accounting company that only has a couple of offices to its name will have very few MRO types costs to incur in order to be able to operate on a day to day basis. However, at the total opposite end of the scale are construction or manufacturing companies that can be overcome with maintenance, repair, and operations costs.
For any business that runs this same risk, it is important that they implement the best practice techniques and the right technology, as per discussed above. This will work to ensure that all operational costs are kept to a minimum and that a more productive and efficient working environment is created. This can work its way through to having a direct impact on the bottom line of any business – something that any profiteering company likes the sound of.