Published March 12, 2021
Best Practices to Increase MRO Storeroom Efficiency
The effectiveness of your storeroom has a huge impact on your operations. A storeroom unable to provide critical spares in a timely manner slows down maintenance and causes plant downtime. Inefficient purchasing processes become a costly drain on your bottom line. This article will cover the four major opportunity areas for optimizing your storeroom, and how to implement best practices in each to reap the benefits for your entire organization.
1. Having Goals & Objectives
The most important best practice for your storeroom is to ensure all KPIs are trackable and that you have clear goals and objectives for your program. A study of MRO programs shows that data, specifically data analysis of parts usage, cost, lead time, and vendor reliability is crucial for success. Key KPIs include those related to stock level, service level, jobs waiting, turns, average wait time, and number of SKUs. Defined KPIs and the ability to track them ensure that all initiatives are improving your storeroom operations and gives you the ability to pivot if certain tactics are ineffective.
2. Storeroom Location & Layout
The physical layout of the storeroom is a crucial element for success that is often overlooked. A study has shown that 22% of storerooms have less than 70% of their items marked for specific aisle/bin locations. With a better designed layout and labeling system, materials are stored and quickly accessed to ensure uninterrupted operations. Shelves, bins, and racks should be intuitively placed, consistently labeled, and freely accessible. Physically optimizing your storeroom allows you to nimbly service the organization and sets the stage for proactive maintenance programs.
Another best practice area to examine and optimize in your storeroom is your work processes. Workflow that is ad-hoc is very likely to be inefficient and causing unnecessary delays and downtime. The processes and procedures that run a storeroom should be well understood and documented, properly followed, and occasionally audited. To ensure compliance, the system should be easy to use and formally documented. A way to do that is establishing standard operation procedures and an operational playbook. The playbook covers material processing- receiving, stocking, issuing, and tracking- inventory optimization, critical spares identification, cycle counting, and more. When the ideal process has been established and implemented, you will begin to see progress in KPIs in your MRO program.
4. Storeroom Technology
Often, the storeroom is one of the last places to benefit from current technology to increase productivity. A robust technology platform including an enterprise asset management (EAM) tool and an integrated digital e-catalog are the foundation for a technology stack that supports storeroom success. This technology provides visibility cross-department and cross-sites for material availability. Analytics gleaned from these platforms establish optimal min/maxes for critical spares and can even generate predictive maintenance programs to avoid equipment interruptions altogether. Once this has been established, even more sophisticated tools like real-time condition monitoring and AI predictive modeling for equipment performance can be implemented.
Implementing Store Room Best Practices
Implementing storeroom best practices will not happen overnight. However, if you use these four best practice areas as a planning framework, develop a time-bound actionable plan and receive buy-in from all relevant stakeholders, you will begin to see quantifiable success in how your MRO program supports your organization. As the leader in integrated supply with a robust technology platform and significant purchasing leverage, RS Integrated Supply is well-positioned to partner with you to achieve MRO program success.
Why Choose RS Integrated Supply as Your MRO Storeroom Partners?
RS Integrated Supply covers all your needs from the planning phase to the implementation phase. Our Storeroom consultants will identify problem areas and make a plan to quickly and effectively upgrade your storeroom, but we don’t just leave you with a well thought plan. We also provide professional, experienced storeroom attendants and site managers, along with our Center Led Procurement team members. Our team is happy to discuss your MRO Storeroom needs so contact us with any questions!