Efficient Plant May 2020 - 14

feature | MRO solutions
practices to lax storeroom management-
can be so deeply ingrained that it's accepted
as a cost of doing business. In the modern
era, where margins are shaved razor thin,
MRO inventory mismanagement can
literally make the difference between profit
and loss.
Another problem that we haven't quantified, but that every shop floor or inventory
manager understands at some level, is that
MRO technicians tend to requisition more
parts than they require over a purchasing
cycle because they are frustrated by not
having them when needed. This behavior
is often tacitly endorsed as another cost of
doing business.
If you are involved with MRO at any level,
you are probably nodding your head right
now, thinking, "Yes, we've experienced these
issues and tried to resolve them, but the
changes never stick!" These problems can
be permanently resolved and, while there is
no magic bullet, there is a secret to success.
Eliminating common challenges doesn't
require tons of time, money, or effort.
Change can be achieved by following
basic best practices. Best of all, such an
approach also helps insulate your firm from
unexpected downturns in demand while
positioning you to quickly ramp back up.

INVENTORY MANAGEMENT
EVALUATION
Pull together a cross-functional team to
explore whether your inventory-management practices are sound. If not, make a
list of deficiencies and start fixing them.
Common issues include:
 MRO technicians grabbing parts out of
the storeroom because it isn't properly safeguarded or they're allowed to circumvent the
requisition process.
 Old MRO parts are retained in inventory
even after equipment design changes render
them obsolete.
 Purchasing procures parts from "favorite"

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| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

vendors rather than following competitive
evaluation best practices.
 Stockouts and spot purchases are not
tracked, and there are no scheduled evaluations to address them.

STOREROOM REVITALIZATION
The MRO inventory storeroom may need a
retooling to ensure that inventory routinely includes the range and volume of parts
required to maintain equipment in its validated state. There may also be a benefit in
changing the location and/or configuration
of the storeroom to make parts retrieval
more efficient.
Knowledgeable individuals, such as the
Procurement Engineer, Purchasing Manager, and Storeroom Manager, can collaborate on this effort to ensure a realistic, yet
functional, outcome. Once the storeroom
is in top operating condition, access must
be restricted to authorized individuals only,
and all parts must be formally signed in
and out, preferably through a computerized
system such as a CMMS (computerized
maintenance management system).

MRO SUPPLIER MANAGEMENT
Vendors should be informed that substitutions of any kind, including materials of
construction, are not permitted without
appropriate review and approval. Purchase
orders should have unambiguous language
explaining this requirement. Parts manufacturers should be notified that they are
expected to alert all stakeholders to any
changes in materials.

MASTER SCHEDULE
COORDINATION
A well-organized and maintained master production schedule (MPS) is vital to
efficiency, yet it often doesn't take MRO
parts into consideration. This is ironic, since
one of its core functions is to eliminate
production bottlenecks-a consequence of

unplanned equipment failure. MPS personnel should coordinate closely with MRO
inventory managers and planners, communicating predicted demand swings so MRO
inventory will be adequate for corresponding spikes in equipment maintenance needs.

WORK-MANAGEMENT REFRESH
Over time, any production facility-even
those with mature practices and welltrained staff-can experience a reduction
in efficiency. This is especially common
with inventory management because so
many different departments have input
into its processes. Every five years or when
stockouts increase, equipment failures are
traced to failed parts, and/or other indicators suggest inventory practices are slipping,
management should confirm that existing
best practices are being followed.

MAY 2020

5/1/20 10:29 AM


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Efficient Plant May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant May 2020

Efficient Plant May 2020 - loc
Efficient Plant May 2020 - Cover1
Efficient Plant May 2020 - gatefold1
Efficient Plant May 2020 - gatefold2
Efficient Plant May 2020 - IFC
Efficient Plant May 2020 - 1
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Efficient Plant May 2020 - mi1
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