What is Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO)?
Companies need to invest in many different activities and processes to manage a facility or a plant. This includes investing in general maintenance of the facility itself, any systems that are used within the facility, and to ensure that all assets and equipment are regularly maintained and repaired.
Maintenance, repair, and operations, or MRO, has a major impact on the company’s performance. It primarily includes all the processes and activities performed by the facility to ensure that all equipment within the facility remains in good condition.
It’s important to ensure that all facilities and equipment remain in good condition. From maintaining simple hand tools to large machinery, the MRO crew is responsible for making sure that there are no untimely delays due to equipment being out of stock or breaking down due to lack of maintenance.
Why is Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) Important?
When evaluating their operational costs, a number of businesses fail to properly allocate expenses for MRO because they don’t primarily contribute to the end product.
MRO plays a critical role in making sure that the company is able to perform day to day operations without any issues. The materials and supplies that are required to maintain the equipment and infrastructure are also a part of MRO.
But, since these materials or supplies aren’t treated as raw materials, they are considered indirect costs, even though they are used in production (though aren’t actually a part of the final product).
Companies that don’t control their MRO costs can end up losing profitability. MRO is generally very important for a company’s long-term business prospects as it can help companies reduce their production expenditure by a significant margin.
Controlling MRO expenditure can allow companies to:
- Improve profitability
- Ensure employee safety
- Improve operational efficiency by reducing downtime
- Improve production and productivity
Think of it this way; if companies take MRO seriously, it’s likely going to improve production volumes and sales. It also helps companies control activities that improve their cash flow. Here are just some of the main reasons why MRO is so important.
If equipment breaks down in the middle of a production cycle, the company will have to spend a significant sum of money to repair it and get it back in working order. By managing MRo properly, companies can reduce downtime.
Instead of reacting to situations, the company can invest in maintenance to take a more proactive approach. When the right parts and maintenance crew are available on time, it’s obviously easier to reduce disruptions.
For starters, things don’t break down as often, and even if they do, companies are able to significantly reduce downtime as the crew is available on hand to quickly fix the issue.
Anticipate and Rectify Problems Before They Occur
Companies that invest in MRO generally have a predictable schedule of repairs. This helps them identify problems before they even occur.
When companies can anticipate these issues, they are able to take steps to rectify the situation before it turns severe. The biggest advantage of this is cost savings.
For starters, it’s always cheaper for organizations to repair a crucial piece of equipment instead of replacing the entire part altogether. With an appropriate maintenance schedule in place, it’s obviously easier for companies.
Improve Inventory Management
It’s often difficult for companies to manage inventory effectively. Keeping too much or too little inventory can both be harmful. And, since MRO equipment and supplies don’t directly contribute to the direct spend, it can be a bit difficult to identify the right levels and determine inventory levels for different types of equipment.
For instance, if there are certain machine parts that tend to break down more often than others. Keeping higher inventory levels for those can help companies address maintenance requests quicker.
The Four Types of MRO
There are four types of MRO that you should know about.
Infrastructure Repair and Maintenance
This primarily refers to all types of maintenance and repair activities that are carried out on roofs, doors, ceilings, lighting, plumbing, parking lots, doors, or windows.
Essentially every process or activity that helps in maintaining the infrastructure falls within this category, from landscaping to regular maintenance or cleaning services.
Equipment Maintenance and Repairs
This is an important part of MRO that covers all product equipment that’s used in production. By regularly repairing and maintaining product equipment, companies can reduce downtime significantly.
Many companies now focus on predictive maintenance to reduce ongoing costs and to mitigate disruptions.
Consumables and Tools
This includes all of the smaller tools and consumables that are used in production, but generally aren’t included within the finished product itself. For instance, it can include all sorts of blades, cutting bits, drills, screws, wrenches, and other tools.
PPE, safety goggles, masks, and respirators all fall within this category. Companies often maintain a specific level of MRO inventory to prevent disruptions and to ensure appropriate equipment is available to employees when they need it.
Material Handling Equipment Maintenance
Moving raw materials down the production line requires the use of different machinery. From conveyor belts to assembly lines, the raw materials need to move all the way until they are ready to ship.
All of these machines and equipment require adequate maintenance, so it’s important for companies to invest in maintenance and regular upkeep.
Improve MRO Efficiency with EcoOnline’s Health & Safety Software
EcoOnline’s Health and Safety software can allow you to easily track any incidents, hazards, near-misses, and positive observations in the workplace. It’s an excellent platform businesses that want to improve safety in the workplace and to introduce MRO efficiency in their operations.