What is MRO Inventory and Why Does It Matter?

May 6, 2024

Every business has one objective: to run their business smoothly and efficiently. Companies use a variety of resources to ensure that their facilities operate efficiently.

But not many take it seriously, even knowing that these indirect supplies can cause downtime and increase your costs. Therefore, managing MRO supplies is a must!

Because without it, the ability to produce products and deliver them to customers on time comes to a halt.

MRO Supplies

What is MRO Inventory?

MRO stands for Maintainance, Repair, and Operations. It refers to supplies, inventories, and materials that are not directly related to a finished good but are critical for day-to-day business operations.

Therefore, managing MRO inventory is essential for businesses to keep their operations running smoothly and efficiently. It helps minimise downtime, cut costs, and maintain productivity levels.

There are more benefits to managing MRO supplies, which we will discuss in detail in this blog post. Read the complete blog post to learn more.

Examples of MRO Inventory

Although every business has different needs and different supplies, here is the list of inventory items that fall under MRO:

  • Maintenance items include lubricants, machine oil, light bulbs, bearings, gears, motors, and so on.
  • Janitor supplies like mops, floor cleaners, sprays, disinfectants, brushes, and so on.
  • Lab supplies include syringes, beakers, test tubes, scales, vials, and flasks.
  • Office supplies include paper, toners, furniture, pens, markers, cables, electrical equipment such as computers and scanners, and lighting fixtures.
  • Auto industry spare parts, such as side view mirrors, wipers, and hubcaps.
  • Safety equipment, such as gloves, face shields, helmets, equipment kits, earplugs, etc.

Here, we have covered different supplies from almost all industries that are necessary for different industries.

Importance of Inventory Management

Role and Importance of MRO Inventory Management

Having an industrial MRO is essential for any business’s smooth operations and supply chain. When different materials are being used in a company, even the lack of one or two sources can cause hindrances or disruptions. Companies can use various models or approaches to streamline the process and save time, money, and storage space by implementing effective procedures.

This is where the need for managing the MRO inventory comes in, as it can result in various benefits, which include the following:

  1. Safety Benefits:

    Regular maintenance of buildings, machines, and safety equipment helps create a safer work environment by identifying and addressing flaws and faults before they cause accidents. This preventative measure plays a crucial role in keeping employees safe and secure.
  2. Prevents Downtime:

    A well-stocked inventory of MRO supplies ensures optimum operational efficiency and minimal disruptions, avoiding unnecessary downtime caused by equipment faults or missing items. This enables your staff to focus on critical activities while maintaining a consistent flow of production.
  3. Improved Workflow:

    One of the key factors that can negatively impact workflow is the unexpected breakdown or malfunctioning of machines and equipment. These sudden disruptions can have a significant impact on productivity levels. However, by implementing effective maintenance, repair, and MRO strategies and properly managing equipment, it is possible to identify and address potential issues before they escalate into major problems. This proactive approach not only minimises downtime but also ensures a seamless and uninterrupted production process.
  4. Reduces Costs:

    Although these maintenance, repair, and operation expenses are not much as compared to the procurement of raw materials, in the blink of an eye, they can quickly add up. This can lead to uncontrolled spending. Thus, implementing efficient MRO inventory management prevents needless stockpiling and ensures that only needed products are procured.
  5. Contribute Towards Customer Satisfaction:

    By effectively managing MRO inventory, you can prevent operational delays that may affect customer satisfaction. Maintaining smooth operations will allow for the timely delivery of products or services, ultimately leading to satisfied customers.
  6. Enhanced Operational Productivity:

    You can improve your business’s operational productivity by ensuring that necessary items like packaging materials, protective gear, and office supplies are always available. This allows staff to fulfil orders and manage warehouses efficiently, resulting in increased profits.

The Impact of Technology on MRO Inventory Management

Here is a list of key technologies that are impacting MRO and the supply chain, such as:

  • Inventory Management Software

    : One should consider investing in inventory management software that is specially designed for managing MRO inventory. These software systems provide features such as automated reordering, barcode scanning, and real-time data analysis.
  • Internet of Things

    : It is a network of devices that gather and exchange data. In MRO and indirect supply chain operations, IoT devices can monitor equipment and supplies in real-time, providing information on usage, maintenance needs, and performance. You can make the best use of this data to not only improve MRO and supply operations but also minimise downtime and maintenance expenses.
  • Artificial Intelligence

    : AI can be utilised in MRO and indirect supply chain operations to automate repetitive tasks like inventory management and order processing, allowing employees to concentrate on more intricate tasks. Additionally, AI can analyse extensive data, detect trends, and suggest ways to improve efficiency.
  • Predictive Analysis

    : Predictive analytics utilises machine learning algorithms to examine data and anticipate future results. In MRO and indirect supply chain operations, predictive analytics can be used to predict maintenance requirements, detect possible equipment malfunctions, and optimise inventory levels. By using this, businesses can also minimise downtime, prolong the lifespan of equipment, and prevent expensive repairs.
  • Augmented Reality (AR)

    : It involves adding digital information to the real world. In the context of MRO and indirect supply operations, AR can help technicians by providing them with real-time information and guidance during maintenance tasks. For instance, technicians can wear AR headsets to access schematics, manuals, and other relevant information while working on equipment. This use of AR can enhance efficiency and accuracy in their work.

    Therefore, the impact of these technologies on MRO inventory can provide your business with various benefits, which we have discussed above. These technologies are also transforming MRO in a great way, leading to business success and long-term savings.


MRO inventory management is a crucial aspect of any business. However, many businesses neglect this until they have no other choice but to include it in their business operations. Why not do that in the early stages and ensure a smooth and optimum level of business operations?

Get in touch with us today, and we will help you implement strategies that will help your business run smoothly, efficiently, and effectively.

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