Do You Have the MRO Mumpsimus?

Published June 23, 2017

Mumpsimus defined: “Adherence or persistence to an erroneous practice out of habit or obstinacy…A person who persists in a mistaken practice.” In the world of MRO storeroom management, mumpsimus prevails with a persistency that is totally out of sync with today’s modern manufacturing techniques.

Applied intelligence in the areas of PRIM [Plant Reliability Information Management], ERP [Enterprise Resource Planning], analytics, automation, and the ever-expanding Internet of Things are major resources that allow manufacturing to continually improve techniques and profitability while maintaining plant reliability.

Why then, in most companies, has the MRO supply chain basically remained an erroneous practice effecting a drain on profits…mumpsimus personified?

The following data were extracted from a recent survey and white paper published by ReliabilityWeb.com – “MRO Best Practices”:

The study uncovered:

  • 40% of lost time for maintenance trades people are attributed to the lack of spare parts
  • 80% of work orders do not have all parts delivered on time
  • 25% of jobs must wait for parts
  • Storeroom inventory stock turn goals are x2; actual turns are less than one
  • 26% of surveyed companies have less than 60% of needed parts listed in the maintenance catalog; this means that 40% of parts are purchased as spot buys [at higher prices] without inventory control
  • Only 57% of SKUs in the maintenance catalog have alpha and numerical listings; 43% of the listings have incomplete/inadequate/duplicated descriptions
  • Only 53% of issued parts are charged to a work order or to an account number which effects inaccurate maintenance costs for affected assets
  • 48% of the companies reported that Inventory levels are not updated in near real time causing stock outs and overstocked SKUs

Here are three conclusions that can be drawn from this study; they represent concrete reasons why the mumpsimus syndrome must be changed:

  1. Lack of planning, and tracking causes plant reliability issues and downtime
  2. Little communication exists among plant disciplines; MRO management decisions favor the individual discipline rather than the whole
  3. Technology is underutilized with less than 50% of needed parts in the typical MRO stores catalog, many with inadequate descriptions

Why does is this condition continue to exist when MRO represents the highest percentage of cost reduction available?

  • Relatively small percentage of total spend; “why spend time on MRO?”
  • Lack of agreement as to how, what, or who is responsible for change improvement
  • Lack of change support from existing supplier base
  • Opportunity costs; no time to think about change [usually caused by MRO emergencies]

The Answer?

The solution involves establishing, measuring, and evolving consistent processes without restricting resources.

If any change to ongoing Mumpsimus cannot be found internally, the solution is found within Synovos’ expertise and commitment to providing optimum return on investment and Plant Reliability Information Management [PRIM, www.Synovos.com].

The Mumpsimus opposite is SUMPSIMUS: “A strictly correct expression or usage substituted for an old popular error.”

In the world of MRO, being sumpsimus would be the act of outsourcing the management of a company’s MRO supply chain to the service provider that has storeroom management, Master Data LeadershipSM, asset reliability, and connected CMMS technology as its core area of expertise and sole source of revenue, i.e. Synovos.