Guest Column | November 19, 2009

Guest Series Part Four: Measuring Inventory Management Success

By Robert Holmes, WinWare, Inc.

How do you know when you've reached your goal?

It's one of life's toughest questions. We live our lives in continuous-improvement mode, trying to get a little better in every aspect of daily living. We want to be better parents. We want to be better employees. We want to be better bosses. We simply strive to be better overall. But how do we know when we've attained the goal, and more importantly, how do we know if we were successful?

When it comes to managing MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations) inventory using RFID, the answer to that same question about success can be elusive. Just as managing tool and MRO inventory is sometimes forgotten during the pace of everyday business, measuring what makes a successful tool and MRO management program can also be overlooked. Often, we go down the road of improving our MRO management because we simply know we aren't doing a very good job. We forget to benchmark, we neglect to set measurement tactics, and we lack an understanding of all the areas of possible impact. If we start without an overall understanding and measurable information, how can we gauge success?

I'd like to take a few moments to point out areas you may or may not have considered that are clear indicators of a successful MRO management program. Some of these are obvious and some are not. So here we go...