MRO purchasing or Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) are those purchases necessary to keep the business running. In some types of businesses such as an office block these kinds of purchasing may be quite small and many purchases, such as cleaning, will be made on a regular basis.
In other types of companies, such as a manufacturing plant with a considerable number of machines, MRO-purchasing will not only be made up of a significant number of different types of purchases, but they will also make up a large percentage of total purchases.
One of the key focuses of MRO-purchasing within this kind of business is the need to manage inventory. With so many parts, products and services required any overstock would quickly show on the bottom line. A prudent purchasing manager will ensure that as many maintenance contracts s possible are in place.
MRO-purchasing, due to its ad hoc nature, is usually managed via the issue of purchasing requisitions. This means that expenditure control could quickly get out of hand. The trick is to estimate what supplies and services are regularly required and issue regular purchase orders.
Sophisticated integrated computer systems are now available to manage regular purchasing of stock as well as MRO-purchasing.
Systems such as an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)ì system and an Asset Management System can be integrated with a Maintenance Management System (CMMS) so that all materials and maintenance contracts can be managed and the actual demand understood.
MRO consists of maintaining existing plant and office furniture and consumables, all of which are part of the overhead costs of a company and thus they do not contribute to the gross profit.
They are often a key part of keeping a business operational but are rarely considered in any strategic planning. Now is the time to look after the small things!