What Does MRO Mean in Business?

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In the business, manufacturing and supply chain areas, the MRO acronym stands for maintenance, repair and operations. It can also refer to the similar maintenance, repair and operating supplies. MRO refers to any supplies or goods that are used within the production process, but that aren't part of the final product.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

The MRO definition in business, manufacturing and supply chain refers to maintenance, repair and operations or maintenance, repair and operating supplies.

Looking at MRO Definition Examples

Depending on the type of business you’re in, MRO can refer to a number of different kinds of goods. MRO products are generally separated into a few categories: consumables, equipment, plant upkeep supplies, technology and furniture.

Consumable MRO items include cleaning supplies like bleach and mops and office supplies like pens and printer paper. They can also be laboratory supplies like beakers, test tubes and safety glasses. Equipment included in the MRO definition are items such as compressors, pumps and valves, or any other equipment used in creating the final product. Plant upkeep supplies include lubricants for machines and repair tools like screw drivers and wrenches.

Technology usually refers to items like computers, laptops, printers, smartphones, tablets and any other items that are used in the business that relate to creating the final product. Furniture items include desks, chairs, tables and other office items.

Understanding the Place of MRO in Business

In office environments, MRO purchases are generally quite small, while in manufacturing sectors, MRO purchases make up a large part of the total purchases made by the organization. In this case, they need to be managed effectively so that they don’t affect the company's bottom line. In order to do this, the purchasing team needs to keep a close eye on inventory to ensure there is not too much overstock. Instead, they must issue regular purchase orders for frequently used items to keep the inventory levels stable.

While MRO is often not considered strategically, it is a vital part of many organizations, especially in manufacturing and supply chain operations. It’s important for the MRO purchasing team to communicate openly and regularly with other departments in the business so all are aware of what kinds of stock levels are available, where they are stored and how often they are used. In some large factories, the placement of the MRO stores need to be considered carefully as distances from one part of the building to the other can be vast. Organizations need to optimize MRO placement so it’s easily accessible for all teams involved.

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About the Author

Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.

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