Controlling the cost for equipment repairs requires careful management of the Maintenance, Repair and Operational (MRO) spare parts inventory. These scenarios are repeated time and time again in many maintenance operations: A part should be available in the inventory but isn’t there because it has been used on a previous job. A part is the wrong part for the job because the Equipment Bill of Material is wrong. A part is no longer service-ready when requested because it has been improperly stored in the storeroom. All of these situations can result in additional cost because now the request for the part has become an emergency and the purchase will need to be expedited. These three examples seem to be the most common situations that companies encounter and are completely avoidable by implementing some basic inventory management practices. Keeping the right parts in stock Security of the storeroom is a basic requirement for a valid inventory management program. Access to the storeroom needs to be limited, and employees that do have access should understand the importance of documenting any parts they remove from the inventory on the off shifts. Of course, parts removed from the MRO inventory and not documented is not the only cause of missing parts. Errors occur during inventory stocking and item picking that can also cause missing or misplaced inventory. A documented cycle count process will catch many of these situations before they become a problem. Analysis and classification of the MRO inventory using the A-B-C classification of the inventory items establishes a format for scheduling and executing inventory cycle counts. Critical and insurance spare parts should be in stock 100% of the time and cycle counted quarterly. These are parts that would have an immediate hazardous effect on safety or the environment or cause a […]
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