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Hoarders: MRO Edition

We’ve all been there. At the end of a long day, you’re flipping through the TV channels and you stumble upon a show about a 60 year old lady whose house is busting at the seams with junk: Her doll collection, her children’s art from grade 2, all those trinkets from weekly kid’s meals back in the 1980s.

You watch it for a second. It makes you feel a little worried about those two boxes in your basement that are storing your high school football trophy, your university class book and snow globe your grandparents got you in the Bahamas when you were 10. You think about going downstairs and cleaning up a bit. You head down, pull out your high school class ring and get all warm fuzzy thinking about your high school memories. After parading down memory lane for a while, you close up those two boxes and head back upstairs to catch a rerun of Seinfeld.

The next day you’re wandering through your MRO storeroom at work. You see those three pneumatic actuators that have been hanging out on the same shelf since… well, since before you started. You know they’re critical – if either of the two on the floor go down and can’t be replaced, you’re toast. And there are those extra pieces of the table top conveyer belt chain. Also critical. All 14 rolls of them? You take a closer look and realize that there’s a bit of rust on them and the plastic doesn’t really look as flexible as it did.

Turns out you actually are a hoarder… at work! Unfortunately, your problem is probably not going to get solved in a tidy 42 minute television show. A good dispositioning strategy is going to involve many areas of the organization getting together and coming up with a plan.

There are a few key points to a MRO leading practice disposition plan. Let’s highlight a few:

Solid Return Policies – A good dispositioning strategy is going to start at the very beginning of your supply chain. Setting up good return policies with your vendors gives you the ability to have the discussion about returning parts back. The wording of your commercial contracts should allow you to return X% of the purchases you make from them. This will allow you the flexibility to determine what parts should be returned before they turn rusty on the shelf.

Move Fast! – Time is of the essence. Your MRO inventory depreciates faster than a new car leaving the dealer lot. The sooner the part can go back to the vendor, the better.

Keep It Clean – No vendor is going to allow you to return a part that has been left on a shelf to get banged up, rust, and get covered in dust and dirt. Your parts should stay in the original packaging, as much as possible, and that packaging should remain undamaged and clean. Don’t go writing down your information for the part on the box, or you can consider that part yours forever.

One Touch Process – Easy access to the information around your spare parts inventory that allows someone to make a quick decision about the parts will make all the difference. You need visibility to take action.

A good dispositioning strategy is not for the faint of heart. But admit it: you may have a hoarding problem. And the earlier you start working on a strategy, the sooner you will have control of your MRO inventory. Not sure where to start? Want to avoid being featured on Hoarders: MRO Edition? We can help. Contact us today to start discussing the strategy that works best for you.

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