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MRO Storerooms: How to Avoid Lost Profits

This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor — Print & E-Media with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is inventory-management strategies. Most organizations continue to overlook MRO parts storerooms as sources for overall savings, but time is money, and unscheduled equipment downtime often means big money. Facilities that spend money improving the organization and efficiency of MRO storerooms actually are investing to prevent lost profits.

An MRO parts storeroom should look and operate like a retail facility. It should be clean, organized, labeled, well-stocked, and well-run. There is a place for everything, everything is in its place, and the owner controls the cash flow. The storeroom must have a clean, professional-looking appearance that generates confidence through good customer service.

By focusing on several strategies, managers can ensure their departments' MRO storerooms generate savings for the organization. Focusing on organization, among other things:
• eliminates the need for costly expansion or the construction of a new storage facility
• maximizes the effective use of existing space through efficient design and set-up
• leads to the replacement of old, homemade, or barely functional storage fixtures with modern, efficient units that increase the density of parts storage
• results in sorting parts generically, by specific machine, or by process, expediting their location and retrieval
• allows for more prompt location of parts, resulting in less equipment downtime

Focusing on automation, such as bar-coding technology, enables storeroom supervisors to:
• make managing parts and tools faster and more accurate
• record all aspects of every transaction accurately
• eliminate manual data entry and mistakes for parts checkout, receipt and reorder
• eliminate inefficient, time-wasting parts checkout using paper and pencil
• conduct physical inventories and cycle counts more efficiently because the parts are bar-coded
• provide a variety of useful reports.


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