By Robert Holmes, WinWare, Inc.
Supply chain, contracts, integrators, suppliers, safety stock, consignment programs, lot numbers, expirations, regrinds… all of these are familiar terms when dealing with tools and MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations) inventory at the plant level. But do they really have to be managed at the plant level? The answer is simple — of course they do!
We have witnessed the implementation of many enterprise-wide MRO programs that ended up causing harm to MRO management, but that may have been effective at the plant level. So how do you rope it all in? How do you create an enterprise program that provides continuous improvement, cost savings, and the visibility to optimize tool and MRO inventory across the entire enterprise? And how do you accomplish this while improving operations — and not harming what is already successful — at each plant? Good questions, right?