Efficient and Effective: 6 Tips for Better Organized MRO Storerooms

Efficient and Effective: 6 Tips for Better Organized MRO Storerooms

Managing maintenance and repair parts is always a challenge. It’s an even bigger headache when you add in soaring inventory costs, disrupted supply chains and limited storage space.  

Without essential maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) items, your business will come to a grinding halt.  

Imagine having to stop an entire production line because you ran out of a tool, fastener or ball bearing. Not only will you have paid employees standing around waiting to return to work, but you could also lose thousands in lost production — not to mention experience diminished customer confidence due to missed deadlines. 

Then, why is MRO inventory largely overlooked? The answer is simple. MRO inventory are those items in your stockroom that are used in the production process but don’t become the final product. It’s not glamorous. It’s not sexy. Rather, it’s the fasteners, hoses, compressors, pumps, valves, gaskets, lubricants, repair tools and cleaning supplies that keep the entire operation running smoothly.  

Are you looking to reduce your total cost of ownership, increase productivity, enhance operational efficiency and improve worker safety? We partner with ZEP to offer a robust selection of focused maintenance and cleaning solutions for your MRO needs. Learn more.  

Signs of a Cluttered and Disorganized Storeroom 

MRO is often such an afterthought that it doesn’t get the support it needs. Operations personnel or technicians may be left to fend for themselves, ordering items as needed to secure supplies. This can lead to rogue spend and risky purchases that aren’t accounted for.  

Do you recognize any of these signs of a cluttered MRO storeroom?  

  • Messy shelves 
  • Leaking packages 
  • Excessive emergency purchases 
  • Recurring stockouts 
  • Inactive stock 
  • Excessive heat or cold temperatures 
  • Poor housekeeping 
  • Parts and materials not connected to work order or asset 
  • Lack of standard operating procedures (SOP) 

If your storeroom looks like this, you could be wasting time, money and resources.  

When it comes to productivity and profit, having access to the parts you need at the right time can make all the difference in the world. 

With an organized storeroom, your business can experience several key benefits including:  

  • Faster maintenance and repair times 
  • Reduction in inventory 
  • Added space for storage or production 
  • Fewer stockouts 

Have questions on improving the efficiency of your storeroom?  

Give us a call at 314-638-6500 OPTION 4. 

6 Steps to Optimum Storeroom Organization 

If you’re looking for a better way to manage your maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) inventory, we have a few tips to get you on your way.  

1. Assign a storeroom champion. The first step to creating an organized storeroom is to assign a person that will oversee storeroom improvements. Typically, this person has a supervisory role and will be responsible for maintaining storeroom efficiency.  

2. Consider storeroom location. In the past, storerooms were generally placed in a central location within the facility. It was thought to be more convenient for employees to access inventory items. Today, it’s recommended that storerooms be placed on the perimeter of a site to reduce injuries resulting from delivery traffic. Also, consider where routine tasks take place to minimize unnecessary travel throughout the facility.  

3. Update storage equipment. After an inspection of your storeroom and inventory items, consider the best way to store these items. For some MRO items like fasteners or cleaning supplies, shelving or bins are acceptable. High-density cabinets can protect other MRO items from environmental hazards like dirt and contaminants.  

FACT: According to Modern Materials Handling, roughly 80% of all storerooms continue to use bins, drawers, cabinets and shelves in 2020. The other 20% were split between carousels, vending machines and automated equipment like vertical lift modules (VLMs). 

4. Update internal processes. Once MRO items are properly stored, evaluate your current work processes. Work with your storeroom champion to assign receiving, stocking and cycle-counting tasks to team members. Be sure to document all activities.  

5. Update technology. Rather than manually track inventory usage, consider implementing technology into your MRO storeroom. Solutions like a barcode reader can connect to inventory management software and provide real-time updates to stock levels, alerting you when supply is low. The data gleaned from technology can also help you make better data-driven decisions.  

6. Refresh stocking needs. Is your storeroom full of excess, unused or outdated inventory? Clear up space for mission-critical inventory by evaluating production needs, supplier lead times and changes in processes. Decide what MRO items stay or what needs to be thrown away or replaced.  

Vendor Managed Inventory Solutions 

There are several ways you can begin to streamline your stockrooms and warehouses and get better control of your MRO items. But no matter what inventory management strategies you use, whether it’s new equipment, software or external inventory management, you can’t make meaningful improvements without data.  

Better data can help you track trends and usage, prevent stockouts, manage lead times and increase accountability on mission-critical inventory items.  

How do you know what you need if you don’t track it?  

Vendor-managed inventory (VMI) can help. Superior Industrial Supply offers VMI solutions to help optimize your storeroom and inventory holdings. Our VMI capabilities can help you:  

  • Improve inventory turns 
  • Reduce purchase orders and paperwork 
  • Minimize stock-outs 
  • Track item usage 
  • Ensure accurate and efficient receiving 
  • Gain delivery to point-of-use 
  • Free up employee time 
  • Effectively manage your supply chain 

Related: Remove Waste from Your Facility with Onsite Hose Repair and Vendor Managed Inventory Solutions 

Give us a call at 314-638-6500 OPTION 4 and speak to a knowledgeable representative today! 

Superior Industrial Supply knows how important it is to have access to the MRO items your operations demand. It’s why we specialize in industrial and MRO supply, fastener selection, hydraulic hose assembly and repairs. Give us a call at 314-638-6500 OPTION 4 or 800-783-6501 and let us know how we can help you find the products, services and advice you need.