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In the logistics arena, maintaining solid inventory levels for maintenance, repair and operations equipment is a very daunting task. However, it is very much needed as this is the lifeblood of your business. When the wrong piece of equipment fails, business can come to a screeching halt. Regardless of whether you manage a fleet of trucks, a warehouse, or a fulfillment center, keeping your equipment in optimal operating condition is absolutely crucial.
Keeping up with all of the equipment that powers your business is what we call MRO inventory control.
Logistics companies of all kinds have multiple tasks that need to be completed on a regular basis. Managing your MRO inventory is really an umbrella term that covers most of those tasks... or rather, managing the tools that help complete those tasks. It could be equipment that helps you produce a finished product right down to the smallest pneumatic drill in the warehouse.
In this article, we will explain some of the fundamental concepts that go into MRO inventory control. Additionally, we will introduce a few tools that help to improve the efficiency of this vital task and explain the role that 3PLs have in helping their customers stay on target with responsible MRO inventory levels.
Ready to learn?
Okay, good, get your thinking caps on and let's dive in...
If you operate a fleet of vehicles, it's quite possible that you have a proven process for making sure your fleet stays on the road during hours of operation. In fact, some companies use FMS solutions that document every service for maintenance tasks required.
For those who handle their own maintenance and repairs, ensuring they have the right supplies on hand is vital. Having the right items available when needed reduces the potential of delays, lost opportunities, or inability to serve customers.
This is where well-built maintenance, repair, and operation (MRO) supplies come into play. Combine high-quality tools with an efficient and accurate MRO inventory system and you are well on your way to running a more productive business.
By definition, MRO is simply an acronym for maintenance, repair, and operations. Essentially, the items covered under the MRO include replacement parts, or consumables used to complete repairs or service to equipment. Unfortunately, many companies make the mistake of assuming the MRO simply refers to routine maintenance supplies, like engine oil or filters, air filters, gaskets, and other commonly replaced items.
However, you may find yourself fighting an uphill battle if you try to inventory these smaller items as MRO.
It is quite common for companies to categorize MRO inventory. Of course, this is also highly dependent upon the industry.
Here are the three typical categories for MRO Industrial Maintenance Inventory control programs.
It’s estimated that the majority of preventable on-road breakdowns are directly attributed to lack of routine maintenance. The simple task of replacing filters, lubricants, or gaskets can significantly reduce the potential of breakdown.
The next step of maintenance is corrective, which fixes something that has caused the equipment to fail or operate in-efficiently. Sometimes this will include replacing minor components that have worn out, or major repairs that may include specialty supplies.
Commonly used in professional manufacturing or transportation companies, predictive maintenance is exploratory, designed to determine damage levels or longevity of a component. Basically, this permits the company to make changes to equipment or parts used, which may extend lifespan, improve sustainability efforts or improve efficiency.
Positive MRO inventory levels permit a company to complete maintenance or repairs to equipment quickly, which helps them stay on task. However, when inventory levels are negative, it can cause a delay in repairs or maintenance, and thus, cause delays in production or delivery services. However, there is a way to ensure they have ample supplies – without excessive expenses.
This is attainable by activating a strong MRO inventory management program...
Your company likely maintains records for maintenance and repairs completed each year. You can review these records and determine how many supplies are typically used throughout the process.
Likewise, purchase orders for previous years MRO inventory help for better forecasting.
Most fleets or businesses with excessive equipment depend on fleet management software solutions to keep track of all service records. Additionally, this includes the supplies needed or purchased.
If you don’t have an FMS, What are you witing for? Likewise, if your TMS is outdated, consider upgrading to a customized FMS that can be configured for your specific fleet management needs.
A good 3PL with years of experience and excessive assets is hard to beat. They can help companies of all size, scope, and service to create or improve their MRO inventory programs.
If you have any questions about improving your MRO inventory programs, contact Redwood Logistics today. Let our team find the solutions that match your needs and help scale your business!