Why You Need MROaaS

Yes, you need MROaaS. Everyone needs MROaaS. ( But don’t tell your boss you need MROaaS, spell it out, because we all know what she’s likely to hear when your tongue trips over this one. 😉 ) Next to T&E (not T&A), it’s probably the biggest tail-spend savings opportunity in the enterprise. And it deserves to be addressed.

MROaaS, short for MRO-as-a-Service, which is itself short for Maintenance-Repair-and-Operations-as-a-Service (which is very unsexy when you say it this way), is, for large organizations that need to maintain a lot of inventory on hand, the biggest overlooked outsourcing opportunity in the business. Inventory is costly (and many estimates put annual inventory overhead at 25% of product cost). But not having the right inventory at the right place at the right time is even costlier. (Downtime leads to lost production and, ultimately, lost sales which is very costly when you still have to pay the day-to-day overhead, including your employees’ salaries.) And MRO is often the biggest consumer of long-term inventory (because the majority of goods for sale will move in and out within a few months, or even a few weeks, while MRO inventory could shit on the shelf for two years). So inventory optimization alone is a good reason to have good MRO.

But that’s not the only reason to have good MRO. The reality is that, in an average organization:

  • over 20% of inventory on the shelf is excess and/or obsolete
  • fill rates for most MRO storerooms are closer to 75%
  • there is supplier “lock-in” even where alternative sources of supply exist

And the losses mount quickly.

But these aren’t the only problems organizations face. Most also have to deal with

  • recall inventory not getting identified and then being used when it shouldn’t (which creates hazards)
  • significant expediting when a part is out of stock and it is needed yesterday
  • inefficient returns management when the wrong part gets shipped or a part is identifies as bad six months (or three years) down the road (when it might not even be returnable)

And the losses continue to mount.

But with good MRO:

  • excess and obsolete inventory can be reduced by up to 90% (or more)
  • fill rates can exceed 95%
  • alternative sources of supply are easily identified
  • recall inventory is immediately identified and returned
  • expediting becomes the exception rather than the rule
  • returns are properly handled in a timely fashion

And the organization stops bleeding red.

And this is why the organization needs good MRO. But why does it need MROaaS. Slowing down the cash hemorrhage is one thing. Improving the organization’s overall health is another. Good MRO can add value in a lot of ways. In addition to the inventory optimization that will see the results above, it can also provide:

  • proactive shipment monitoring to insure the right shipment is made at the right time
  • lean process improvement to take time and cost out of the process
  • supplier consolidation to allow for more volume-based cost reduction opportunities and more time to focus on each supplier
  • supplier development programs to insure that supplier performance improves over time

And this is just the tip of the iceberg a good MRO program can provide. But a typical organization, which never gets to the MRO tail-spend, is not an expert in MRO. It’s not even a novice in MRO management in most cases. This is where MROaaS comes in. For the most part, the only organizations that are true MRO experts are those that provide MROaaS. And since it takes true expertise to go from cost reduction to value generation, you need MROaaS.

And if you are still not convinced, the doctor and the maverick have put together a detailed four-part series over on Spend Matters on the subject that should provide all the education you need on why MROaaS is something that has to be considered if MRO spend is a significant part of the organization’s tail spend. Parts I and II are already up and available here: