What Are MRO Inventories? (Plus Examples, Tips and FAQs)

MRO inventory refers to supplies, spare parts and other materials needed for routine maintenance, repair and operations (or MRO). This inventory is critical for the smooth running of a business. However, unlike raw materials, this inventory does not become a part of finished goods offered to customers.

To reduce MRO inventory costs, organizations must be aware of what is occurring to the stock that is currently in stock. Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) inventory spending makes up a sizeable portion of an organization’s maintenance budget – in some cases as much as 45%. An overview of inventory control and its connection to MRO inventory management is given in this article.

MRO Inventory

Why is MRO inventory important?

MRO inventory is crucial for ensuring efficiency, quality, and consistency even though it plays a supporting role in the manufacturing process. For instance, an employee can reduce labor costs and save time by using a forklift to move raw materials closer to production equipment. Because MRO inventory typically offers a high return on investment, businesses occasionally make significant investments in it. Those who reduce their MRO inventory in an effort to cut costs might discover that doing so increases operating costs and decide the initial investment is worthwhile to maintain precise and consistent operations.

What are MRO inventories?

Items that a business needs to operate but that are not directly related to the manufacturing process are known as MRO inventories. The term “MRO” (maintenance, repairs, and operating) refers to a wide range of products that vary by manufacturer. These inventories include hardware for operating systems and storing company data, devices for maintaining the building and keeping it safe, machinery for streamlining manufacturing processes, and basic supplies like paper and cleaning supplies.

Examples of MRO inventories

Depending on their level of production and business requirements, businesses frequently have a variety of categories of items in their MRO inventories. Depending on how frequently they use them and how important the items are to the business’s processes, they maintain and replenish these items. Following are some typical MRO inventory categories and some examples of the items they typically contain:

Tips for managing MRO inventory

Here are some tips for managing your MRO inventory:

Invest in what the company requires

Depending on the products they manufacture, their manufacturing processes, and how much they produce, each company has different MRO inventory needs. If you’re setting up an MRO inventory for the first time, think about your spending plan and calculate how much you can set aside for each MRO category based on business needs. For instance, if the business produces automotive engines and has a small office space with few administrative employees, you might think it is more reasonable to spend a lot of money on material handling equipment and a lot less money on office supplies.

Evaluate your processes

After investing in an MRO inventory, regularly check it to see if there are any processes that are duplicated that you can cut out. When a company expands, management frequently discovers that various teams unknowingly collaborate on the same projects. By assigning some team members new tasks, you can reduce redundant work and prevent inefficiency. This lowers the requirement for additional MRO inventory items for that project or department, which can lower the price of new equipment acquisition.

Identify your most important MRO items

To make sure you have the funds to invest in their maintenance, you can identify your most important items by keeping an eye on your MRO inventory. It also enables you to keep track of the products you replenish or replace frequently so you can more precisely calculate order amounts for those products. You can efficiently manage funding for your MRO inventory by identifying the items you use the most and those you rarely do.

Minimize inventory during low production

If your production has high and low points, you might want to adjust your MRO inventory. You may want to devote more time to MRO equipment inspection and maintenance during your busiest seasons and place larger orders for essential supplies like tools, safety gear, and cleaning supplies. Reduce MRO inventory purchases during slow production periods to offset this increase in spending.

MRO inventory FAQs

Here are some frequently asked queries about MRO inventories and their responses:

How can I record and monitor my MRO inventory?

Some manufacturers use spreadsheets to track their MRO inventory and related costs, especially small or new businesses. This used to be the most cutting-edge method of inventory management. Many businesses today use vendor-managed inventory (VMI) systems, which are part of computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS). With the help of this system, your suppliers can keep an eye on your inventory and replenish it as necessary. Some benefits of CMMS and VMI include:

How can I reduce MRO inventory costs?

There are a few additional steps you can take to lower MRO inventory costs in addition to adjusting your budget and order amounts in accordance with the business’ needs and busy times. First, consider buying generic products if theyre available. Saving money on even seemingly insignificant purchases, like pens and notepads, may eventually result in sizable savings. Just remember to take quality into account, as you might find that name-brand products are more advantageous in some cases. If your supplier provides a discount for larger orders, you can also buy long-lasting goods in bulk from them.

What is an MRO inventory strategy?

A strategy for keeping the proper quantity of each item on hand at all times is known as an MRO inventory strategy. Companies based these tactics on the demand for each item as well as their MRO inventory budget. They estimate how much of each item the business will require over the course of the year and the costs involved in maintaining or replacing each one in order to develop a strategy. When creating an MRO inventory strategy, keep in mind to account for the company’s regular needs as well as any unusual or urgent situations. In this manner, your team will always have the tools necessary to maintain effective manufacturing processes.


What is meant by MRO?

Materials used for maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) are those that are used during production but are not included in the final product in SAP. Consumables like cleaning supplies, office supplies, spare parts, etc. are included in MRO materials.

What does MRO stand for in purchasing?

The term “maintenance, repairs, and operations” (MRO) refers to a variety of processes and actions related to maintaining a facility or a plant, including upkeep of the facility, its internal systems, and the assets and equipment used there to produce the facility’s primary business output.

What is MRO in accounting?

Maintenance, repair, and operations, or MRO, is a significant component of indirect spending (also known as “indirect spend” in the industry).

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