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How Do You Support Maintenance Effectively ?

MRO Materials Management

Three months into exploring the maintenance excellence framework, we have discussed about understanding the maturity of your maintenance organization, defining your maintenance strategy and developing the right maintenance tactics for your assets, and how good work management practice can help you realize your maintenance tactics. In this issue, we will talk about supporting your maintenance activities effectively through good MRO materials management practice.


It is a well known fact that maintenance cannot be fully effective without the support of good materials management practice. Have you ever been in the situation where you and your crew were all ready to complete a particular scheduled maintenance job, got all the required tools, only to find that the required spares is not there. And not even in the warehouse? If this is a proactive maintenance job, or a corrective maintenance work that resulted from a proactive maintenance, it may be possible to delay the work to wait for spares.


However, any delay increases the risks that the organization is exposed to for the impeding failures. What worse is, if the maintenance work waiting for the spares is actually corrective maintenance work resulting from production critical equipment breakdown.  

When this happens, then undoubtedly, it will lengthen the downtime for the production line.


Then operation would normally demand for maintenance to pour all of its resources by any means necessary to ensure that the corrective action can be completed as soon as possible. This would normally involve paying the penalties to expedite the required spares from the vendor and spending the premium costs of express freight.

Hence, the costs of not having the required spares are, amongst others; the lost of an otherwise productive maintenance time, unnecessary downtime leading to reduced production capacity, as well as increased costs due to penalties and premium freights. SO, how often have you experienced stock out? Does your organization experience high stock out rate?


The impact of poor MRO materials supports do not stop there. MRO materials normally accounts for 50-60% of maintenance expenditures. Or even more in Indonesian plants. Often this means millions of dollars in many organizations. If your plant has high MRO spares inventory, YET experiences high stock out rate, then chances are, you are stocking the WRONG spares in the warehouse.


This means your valuable resources, (such as money) are tied up in your warehouse for nothing!! Many organizations have experienced this situation in their warehouse and engaged in rampant stock reduction exercises, only to experience numerous stock outs later on. Driving the emergency costs up and again ended up filling the warehouse excessively. And the cycle continues. 


Hence, the impact of poor MRO materials management ranges from the lost of valuable maintenance time to reduction of revenues. Improvement in materials management will improve the strategic advantage of your organizations. Organizations must firstly understand, that the objective of any stockholding must be: To support maintenance policy and mitigating the consequences of stockouts.

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