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4 Reasons to Optimize Critical Spare Parts Programs with Enhanced MRO Management

Optimize Critical Spare Parts Programs with Enhanced MRO Management

A more affordable Bill of Materials isn’t the only benefit manufacturers and processors will prosper from after paying greater attention to critical spares.

As any business with effective enterprise asset management knows, reliability isn’t a simple concept to pin down. Reliability based maintenance, for example, encompasses a wide range of solutions. Although all might focus on improving uptime, cutting costs or utilizing maintenance personnel intelligently, it’s impossible to determine which of those benefits is most important to plant reliability. In fact, it really all depends on where individual businesses need the most help.

However, generally applicable asset reliability can come from other places. Solutions like maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) management delivers such a promise, especially when it comes to critical spare parts programs. Businesses that invest in proper MRO management tools and strategies not only stand to save considerably on their annual spare parts inventory costs by reducing superfluousness, but they can also reap substantial and enduring ROI.

That said, a more affordable Bill of Materials isn’t the only benefit manufacturers and processors will prosper from after paying greater attention to critical spares. Here are a few other advantages these organizations can look forward to:

More in-depth asset management

It’s one thing to keep a digitized master list of every asset in a plant, but it’s another thing entirely to complement that list with one targeting critical spares. As we mentioned earlier, reliability is a complex thing. An asset a manufacturer relies on may in turn rely on the availability of critical spares. Without a suitable system in place for supervising critical spares and how they impact assets, a business ignores problematic loose ends and makes its operation more susceptible to downtime events.

Furthermore, the ability to spot trends in how assets consume critical spares may indicate a need for realigned maintenance plans. That wherewithal only comes with optimized MRO management resources like CMMS software.

Tighter inventory

A voluminous inventory necessitates more comprehensive inventory management, no matter what’s being stored. While a manufacturer’s library of critical spares may operate according to a “better-to-have-it” style system, the best MRO management practices demand more than that to justify taking up valuable space and labor.

When manufacturers and processors delineate between critical spares and other spare parts, they establish crucial hierarchies among the items in their inventory. Part of this measure includes classifying all spares one way or the other. A critical spare five years ago may not be all that critical today if other asset changes have occurred over that time. Updated spare classifications really matter when manufacturers or processors attempt to prioritize orders.

Moreover, consummate MRO management involves setting control limits on all spares, critical or otherwise. Inventory managers optimize the influx of common spares while ensuring critical spares never accidentally go out of stock, freeing up cash flow in the process.

"Manufacturers seeking emergency spares from suppliers hurt their partners' operations too."

Emergency purchase prevention

Companies waste money when they expedite an unscheduled delivery of critical spares. Some may argue these costs are unavoidable, that they’re simply the price of doing business. Those organizations have no idea the potential reliability-centered MRO management can bring.

When asset reliability solutions like CMMS software link equipment performance and resource management under one robust platform, businesses hone their critical spare budgets by avoiding exorbitant cost increases. More to the point, manufacturers that forgo the best MRO management practices by seeking emergency spares from suppliers hurt their partners’ operations too. They too have a schedule to keep, and most likely charge so much for rush deliveries because of how much imbalance they cause. Consider an investment into MRO optimization an investment into stronger supplier relations as well.

Critical spare supply consolidation

When businesses believe they truly require every single spare in their warehouse yet do little to understand why, they spread themselves thin and put their reliability at risk. A hiccup in any of those deliveries may cause downtime to correct the issue, whether or not it’s warranted.

In combing through spare parts inventories and organizing according to optimal MRO management strategies, manufacturers and processors may realize new ways to condense their reliance on disparate suppliers. Instead of spreading their spare parts supply across 10 different companies, let’s say, identifying critical spares and phasing out obsolete parts may reduce dependence down to only four.

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