What is MRO (Maintenance Repairs and Operations)?

Answered August 20 2019

MRO stands for Maintenance, Repairs, and Operations, and it refers to any equipment or process used to keep a facility running.

industrial mro definition

Why is MRO important?

When considering the costs involved in their supply chain, many businesses don’t put too much thought into MRO. However, while the money spent on maintenance, repairs, and operations might not directly contribute to their end products, it is absolutely vital to making sure the business can function.

Why? MRO has the potential to reduce production expenses, even though it typically only accounts for 6% to 10% of a company’s total spend. It does so by:

  • Decreasing costly equipment downtime
  • Improving the efficiency of operations
  • Ensuring safety in the workplace

For example, a food packing plant that keeps on top of its MRO will likely experience fewer breakdowns with its equipment. If those breakdowns do occur, they’re certain to have the right replacement parts on hand, and their processes for getting that equipment back up and running are more streamlined.

What kinds of equipment are used in MRO?

As for the types of equipment used in MRO, anything that’s used to keep machines, buildings, offices, etc. running smoothly would fall under MRO. A few examples of MRO supplies and equipment are:

  • Safety equipment, like hard hats, gloves, and goggles
  • Batteries
  • Lubricant
  • Fuel for vehicles
  • Office supplies
  • Tools, such as hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, etc.
  • Cleaning supplies, including mops, floor buffers, disinfectant spray, etc.
  • Computer systems and IT
  • Replacement parts
  • Maintenance management software, such as CMMS programs

Note: Having the right inventory on hand is key to MRO management—if you find you have the wrong part in stock, your maintenance processes will be less effective, and you’ll have much longer downtimes when repairs are needed.

Additional components of MRO

MRO not only involves supplies and equipment, but it also includes processes and personnel. Maintenance processes, personnel, and plans all go into keeping a facility running.

Maintenance technicianssupervisors, and managers all have distinct roles in keeping up on maintenance processes. Janitorial staff keep offices and buildings clean. Similarly, supply chain teams responsible for procurement often develop an MRO purchasing strategy with cost savings in mind.

Individual facilities may employ a wide range of maintenance processes, including preventivecorrective, and predictive maintenance plans. Each of these plays a vital role in MRO management, and without them, the business would likely see higher production and upkeep costs.

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