Maintenance Repair and Operations (MRO)

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In the hierarchy of business processes, Maintenance, Repair, and Operations, or MRO, are often given a low priority status. Next to production or distribution, which aims to make and deliver products, the maintenance of machines or vehicles is an afterthought. 

Few facilities realize that even minor MRO activities if performed accurately and regularly, result in major benefits. These benefits affect not only the performance of production, distribution, and other departments but the company as a whole. The sooner a company improves and streamlines its MRO, the sooner it reaps said benefits.

What is MRO?

MRO stands for “Maintenance, Repair, and Operations.” In the context of business, MRO refers to the products, services, and activities required for maintaining and repairing facilities, equipment, and machinery. MRO activities can include everything from fixing broken machinery to ordering replacement parts and supplies. It is typically performed by maintenance personnel or contractors. 

The MRO industry encompasses a wide range of products, including electrical and mechanical components, tools, safety equipment, and materials handling equipment. The goal of MRO is to keep equipment functioning properly and to minimize downtime, which can result in increased productivity and cost savings for a business.

What Are the MRO Processes?

Because MRO applies to all company assets, it includes interconnected and complex processes across all departments. These processes may differ across varying types of assets, but they follow the three aspects of MRO: maintenance, repair, and operations.

1. Maintenance

This part of MRO activities refers to measures taken to prevent or at least delay the breakdown of assets. A critical type of maintenance is preventive maintenance (PM) which is the use of proactive steps on assets to minimize the risk of breakdown and its resulting downtime.

2. Repair

On assets where PM is not practical or PM efforts reveal non-conformances, corrective maintenance (CM) applies. CM consists of reactive steps performed after the assets have reached their point of failure. Repair can mean subjecting assets and their parts to reinforcement, replacement, scrapping, overhauling, and other processes to restore them to acceptable productivity.

3. Operations

Not to be confused with other company operations like production, distribution, etc. This aspect of MRO refers to MRO activities other than maintenance and repair. Operations include planning and scheduling PM and CM activities, managing MRO inventory, preparing work orders from work requests, etc.

What Makes Maintenance, Repair, and Operations Effective?

The main goal of maintenance management is to perform effective MRO using the least amount of resources. To reach its goal, maintenance management needs to accomplish the following objectives:

Effective Planning and Scheduling

MRO activities give the best results with effective planning and scheduling. Effective scheduling of PM, CM, and operations tasks should consider the assets’ intended purpose, critical limits, and historical MRO data. In addition, effective MRO planning and scheduling should also be flexible and intuitive. Although plans and schedules are made to be executed, they should also be capable of adjustments if the need arises.

Accurate and Up-to-date Inventory

As is always the case in all areas of a business, maintaining the availability of items is the foundation of effective and efficient operations. Maintenance management should therefore exert the necessary effort to maintain the availability of all the materials needed for MRO activities. Always available materials ensure that all MRO activities proceed without delays caused by missing spare parts or incomplete tools.

Traceable “Paper Trail”

Any industry practicing standard manufacturing or operating procedures follows the “If it is not written, it did not happen” rule. Effective and efficient maintenance management must also live by this rule. All MRO activities must have a record of all the pertinent details such as process owners, receivers, materials used, results, follow-ups, etc. Nothing will make MRO activities more efficient than improving the traceability of all activities and keeping them easily accessible with a cloud-based Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) for future reference.

CMMS Rising to the MRO Challenge

The objectives discussed are challenging, to say the least. In fact, it is next to impossible if you use manual recording on paper forms or data entry on spreadsheets. Thankfully, there are advanced recording and computing tools out there that can help manage MRO activities and reach their desired objectives. As mentioned above, that’s where a CMMS comes in.

Redlist’s CMMS is a software or app that is valuable in managing your MRO activities. With Redlist, you can plan and schedule MRO activities and have them seamlessly integrated across all your facility process schedules. You never have to worry about your PM tasks conflicting with major production schedules, for example. And with an adaptable system like Redlist, MRO activities are easy to reschedule with minimal effort if necessary.

Our CMMS is also a must-have for maintenance inventory management. With the real-time recording of what goes in and out of your stockroom, you always know what is available. This allows you to make decisions instantly and execute them with a swipe of a finger. And with notification-enabled prompts for low stock and automatic purchase order creation, delayed parts and materials are a thing of the past.

Finally, Redlist’s CMMS records every transaction and work order related to maintenance. So there is next to zero chance that you misplace a record unless you missed recording it. And even then, Redlist can help you trace your missing records through its search-friendly and customizable interface.
We believe minor MRO activities can spell major effects on your bottom line, so we’re here to support you. If you’d like to see how a CMMS can improve your maintenance, repair, and operations, schedule a demo with us today!

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