Does Your MRO Integrator Make Wine or Just Stomp the Grapes?

Published September 22, 2011

This allegorical reference relates to the traditional distributors who add “integrated services” to their marketing offerings which fall short of providing all available cost recovery.

Traditional distributors are quite successful in providing service and competitive pricing to the market of their choice. Many of these distributors are confronted with market requests to become an integrator, i.e. operate their clients’ MRO storerooms on-site.

“Well, so what? How hard can it be? We run operations now which are ‘stores’ of a sort. We can certainly manage an MRO storeroom which has far less activity and far less volume than our existing branches – someone dubbed it ‘Integrated Supply’. So we are now an Integrated Supply distributor as well as a distributor that takes purchase orders and ships to our valued clients … we can do both.”

What is not realized is the complexity that surrounds MRO stores management. Plant disciplines have varying needs and views re MRO operations, each one of which must be addressed and satisfied or the “integration” falls short of potential or fails altogether.

An on-site MRO provider must have a single focus and dedication of assets to provide optimum return for its clients. Bits and pieces of offered services that are borne of traditional thinking and traditional profit requirements have detrimental influences on the “integrated” concept. The effect is to deny any potential client the benefits available.

Too many times the traditional distributors that enter or try to enter on-site MRO management programs are simply grape crushers … they are only half way there. Those that make “MRO wine” have the single focus on MRO stores management and are able to produce the desired vintage, i.e. to achieve maximum TCO benefits for their clients.