Jack Keough: Storeroom Management Remains Big Problem For Manufacturers

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One of the most troubling difficulties many manufacturers face is controlling their MRO expenditures and also making sure that they have the right number of products in their storerooms as needed. It’s a time-consuming process and that’s where distributors can play such an important role. Many distributors already manage many of their customers’ storerooms and are working closely with employees in procurement.

A new survey, however, shows that manufacturers are being challenged in their ability to manage storerooms for their MRO/indirect supplies.

The extensive nine-month study across a wide range of industries was conducted by Storeroom Solutions, an independent provider of MRO/indirect materials management services. It works with companies in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, and Singapore to drive down the total cost of MRO/indirect materials by streamlining storeroom management processes of such solutions to varied industries.

“In the US alone more than $500 billion annually is spent on MRO spare parts and services,” said Michael Weinberg, vice-president of sales and marketing for Storeroom Solutions. “A tremendous amount of time and resources are consumed managing that spend in order to maintain production reliability and maintenance effectiveness. This survey confirmed much of what we already knew about how companies are managing MRO, and exposed some new trends as well.”

Among the survey’s key findings:

- More than half of those surveyed indicated the state of their MRO/indirect materials storeroom frequently causes reliability issues or downtime at their plants.

- Little to no communication exists between the storeroom, purchasing, and the rest of the company.

- Most companies surveyed don’t have the visibility across the supply chain to see how their inventory is moving.

“The survey clearly shows that while some companies are becoming more sophisticated in managing the MRO supply chain, most are lagging in the adoption of new processes — whether that comes via internal resources or third-party management,” Weinberg said.

The survey included responses from representatives across industries, including life sciences, education, facilities maintenance, pharmaceutical, automotive, food processing, general manufacturing and other industries. Respondents had responsibility spanning purchasing/procurement, operations, and information technology, with titles from maintenance managers to chief financial officers, from buyers to vice-presidents of purchasing.

The companies ranged in size from under 100 employees to more than 1,000.

The complete survey findings are available in a whitepaper from Storeroom Solutions at www.storeroomsolutions.com.

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