Everything you need to know about MRO

by Josh Biggs in Business on 11th June 2021

In this complex world where maintenance, repair, and operations are important, it’s important to make sure that you use the right tools that can help your business. This is the reason why MRO buying has become popular nowadays. Your company needs to define and measure the effect of its MRO activities, though these can depend on the type of company you run. 

When it comes to manufacturing as well as other asset-heavy industries, any lack of strategic MRO management can lead to huge operational problems. For example, most of the prolonged unscheduled downtime is usually because of shortage of spare parts, which is the result of poor MRO practices. This page explains what you should know about MRO.

Understanding MRO

MRO simply means maintenance, repair, and operations. This encompasses all the activities you use to keep your facility as well as equipment that is in it in great operating condition. The purpose of MRO is to help to keep your company operations running smoothly. No doubt, companies that have a good approach to MRO management can have better control of their processes that  affect your cash flow. 

A good MRO can ensure that there is business continuity. Remember that sudden equipment breakdowns can disrupt your business operations and may lead to significant money drain. Therefore, you need to manage your MRO so that you can reduce the exposure by creating proactive measures that can make resources like people, parts, and assets available where and when you need them.

MRO can also come in handy in inventory control. Overstock and stockouts have competing and differing demands in MRO management. So item overstock means that you may be holding a lot of inventory while stock outs may lead to expensive downtime that have uncertain return times. Both stockouts and overstocking can come with a price tag. Therefore, you need the right MRO management that has a balance between these two so that you can keep the inventory costs in check. 

With MRO, you can also have proactive maintenance. Repairs and maintenance are inevitable in most industries. But depending on the maintenance strategy you intend to use, the benefits and maintenance costs can vary significantly. Therefore, you need to focus your MRO management on fostering agile maintenance tactics that are proactive.

When it comes to supply chain and procurement, MRO management is usually utilized interchangeably with MRO inventory. But you need to differentiate these two terms. The best way to do this is to look at MRO inventory as items that you need to do different maintenance, repair, and operational tasks. Keep in mind that in most cases, companies find it hard to see a difference between MRO production and inventory items.

It’s worth noting that MRO items refer to the things that can contribute to the end service or product. These items don’t generate profits directly but are important expenditures that ensure that there is service delivery or production continuity. Therefore, MRO costs can appear on the accounting sheet under indirect spend.

Main MRO categories

Maintenance, repair, and operation activities are usually grouped into four major categories. These categories include the following:

Production equipment repair and maintenance

Machinery is considered to be the key component of modern production. But overtime, wear and tear can sometimes cause malfunctioning, leading to delays, downtimes, and many other setbacks that can affect output. In asset-intensive industries, such as manufacturing, these setbacks may adversely affect both brand reputation and profits. 

Maintenance, repair, and operations activities associated with production equipment can include some actions such as routine maintenance work, spare parts inventory control, emergency maintenance, vendor management, and buying condition monitoring equipment.

To reduce industrial equipment breakdown and delays, there are more businesses that are changing from reactive to preventive as well as predictive maintenance. Besides, these companies are now combining all these proactive maintenance tactics with modern solutions to be on top of the maintenance KPIs and maintenance tasks.

Material handling equipment repair and maintenance

Remember that the production can’t begin if the input material doesn’t move from the warehouse storage place to the beginning of the production line. Therefore, if the pallet positioner or forklift is broken, it means you’re in trouble.  

In the same way, if your robotic arms and conveyor system are not properly maintained and face a malfunction, there is a good chance of experiencing a break in the production process where any production line can sit idle waiting for product or input material. 

Material handling equipment can encompass a wide range of different machinery. Some of the equipment may not be directly used in the production, but they are crucial elements that can ensure that there is a stable production process, so they need to be treated as such.

Tools and consumables

Too;s and other different kinds of consumable are utilized continuously in the background to do quick repairs or even preventive maintenance on electrical and mechanical assets. 

Some examples of these MRO tools and consumables include power tools like electrical saws, drills, sanders, and grinders. There are also hand tools like sockets, wrenches, cutters, pliers, and clamps. When it comes to consumable items, they can include lubrication liquids, adhesives, welding rods, and sandpaper.

As you can see, these items are usually smaller than material handling and production equipment, so they can easily be lost or displaced. Good tool management is an important component of MRO to make sure that all these tools are available when required and kept in an easy-to-access place.

Infrastructure maintenance and repairs

Like many other things, infrastructure also requires regular repairs and maintenance to ensure proper facility upkeep and mitigate degradation. As with many other forms of MRO activities, you can decide to handle it in-house or you can outsource to third-party contractors. The option you choose can hugely depend on how much insight and control you want to have on the maintenance process, available budget, current in-house skills, and property licensing agreement. 

If you choose to do the maintenance and repair in-house, then you need to stock MRO inventory. The frequency of maintenance can depend on the infrastructure and asset age, seasonal changes, and prescribed recommendations. Compliance requirements, and operating conditions

Categories: Business