Two Minute Tips  

Controlling Maintenance MRO Inventory Materials and Spares

John Ross | Senior Consultant, Marshall Institute

Companies can realize significant savings by controlling inventories of maintenance materials.  Two points should be understood by all persons involved with developing and instituting a maintenance MRO inventory control system:

  1. Inventory control does not necessarily mean that inventories should be kept at a minimum and or current dollars in inventory is too high.  The lowest possible inventory is often not the best or least costly in terms of total cost.
  2. Although the relative important of various inventory control objectives may change with changes in business conditions, the need for effective control of maintenance inventory is constant.

Maintenance inventory control is best approached by working out the answers to these questions:

  • What items need to be ordered?
  • When should an item be ordered?
  • How many items should be ordered?
  • From whom should it be ordered?

These questions can be answered if specific information on each item stocked is available, and various terms concerning inventory control are understood. Formulas can be used to determine the appropriate order quantity if specific information about an item is known.

The goal of the storeroom is to have the right materials, in the proper quantity at the right time. The MRO storeroom can be a profit center. But this cannot be achieved if your primary objective is to reduce inventory cost. Begin your efforts by answering the questions above.

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