Cui Bono…To Whom Are Benefits Awarded?

Published October 14, 2011

Cui bono, a Latin phrase, can be translated into “Who gets credit for MRO process improvement?”

Cui bono is one of the major deterrents to improvement programs in the world of MRO distribution. Note that the MRO supply chain is not just manufacturer to master distributor to local distributor to the dock of the MRO consumer. It includes the internal distribution function companies assume in moving, stocking, and issuing parts to the ultimate consumer on the plant floor.

Various disciplines have job descriptions; job descriptions have goals and goals attained affect increased compensation for those who attain their goals. Since all disciplines have cost improvement goals, consider a proposal to cut 20% from the MRO spend while increasing services to the plant floor. Purchasing initiates the proposal but must get approval from Finance and Engineering. Benefits accrue to all three; what about cui bono? Conversely, Facilities Engineering initiates the improvement process but must contend with Purchasing and get approval from the CFO.

Purchasing efforts can be circumvented so Purchasing will want to participate in some way or their goals will be affected. Does Finance get any credit for the benefits of improved cash flow…for transaction elimination? Does Facilities get credit for improved wrench time?… parts availability?… etc.? Unless all participate in the benefits, a program can be doomed… Cui bono???