MRO in Logistics: Leveraging Real-Time Visibility to Optimize Maintenance, Repairs & Overhauls

January 10, 2024

Operating as the silent sentinel of the aerospace supply chain, Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) ensures seamless equipment functionality. This unsung hero reaches across all facets, from inventory management to meticulous maintenance schedules, forming a sturdy pillar of safety and fostering enduring success.

Data from Plant Engineering reveals the considerable stakes at play. In 2020, aging equipment was the culprit behind 34% of unscheduled downtime, while mechanical failure accounted for another 20%. Additionally, 46.91% of North American companies directed between 21% to 40% of their operating budget toward equipment cleaning and maintenance alone.

With such significant investments in MRO, it’s clear that this often overlooked segment plays an integral role in maintaining supply chain performance. However, crafting an effective MRO strategy is only possible with real-time tools to improve supply chain visibility.

What are MRO Logistics?

MRO logistics, vital to industrial vitality, encompass preventative maintenance, timely repairs, and occasional overhauls. Its critical components – inventory control, spare parts management, and structured maintenance schedules – aim to minimize downtime and sustain operational excellence. Let’s explore this further.

Key Components of MRO Logistics

The following three key components of MRO logistics aim to ensure supply chain efficiency, uninterrupted operations, cost-effectiveness, and seamless productivity:

  • MRO Inventory Management: This fundamental component involves managing the inventory of necessary parts, tools, and equipment, a process that can be expensive but indispensable. Poor MRO inventory management, characterized by inconsistent maintenance planning, poor data quality, and loose purchasing controls, can increase costs and disrupt supply chain operations.
  • Spare Parts Management: This critical process ensures the continuous availability of spare parts to minimize potential downtime due to unexpected equipment failures. It encompasses careful preparation and organization of the spare parts inventory. Having the right parts for regular maintenance or urgent repairs is vital to avoid unnecessary delays.
  • Maintenance Programs and Schedules: Maintenance plans proactively spot and manage potential issues, minimizing unexpected breakdowns. This process includes arranging necessary tools, writing task guidelines, overseeing spare parts inventory, managing vendor lists, and ensuring quality assurance. Such foresight reduces downtime and fosters smoother operations.

MRO Logistics Comes With Significant Challenges

MRO logistics come with significant challenges in an ever-evolving business terrain. That’s why navigating operational complexities and delayed deliveries without real-time visibility tools is like juggling with one hand tied behind your back.  

Complexities of Managing MRO Operations

As businesses grow and diversify, the complexity of MRO operations, encompassing everything from inventory management to repair flows, intensifies. Unpredictable equipment failures and complex supply chains present challenges, and mismanagement can result in severe consequences such as unplanned shutdowns, increased shipping costs, productivity loss, and customer dissatisfaction.

Impact of Delayed MRO Deliveries

Delayed MRO deliveries can have a domino effect, eroding revenues and straining customer relationships. A study revealed these delays cost UK manufacturers a staggering £180 billion annually, also negatively impacting brand image and purchasing decisions. The ripple effect extends to environmental impact, with redeliveries causing an alarming 3,742 metric tons of carbon emissions yearly.

Risks Associated with Limited Visibility in MRO

Limited visibility in MRO operations poses several risks, emphasizing the need for comprehensive transparency. Unforeseen machinery breakdowns, amplified by the lack of spare parts, can lead to expensive and lengthy downtime. This obscurity can also precipitate poor inventory management, which, in turn, spawns supply issues that cause further disruption and inefficiency.  

The Role of Real-Time Visibility in MRO Logistics

Real-time visibility is reshaping the global MRO market, anticipated to soar to a staggering $839.19 billion by 2028. Advanced real-time technologies and predictive analytics spur this growth by bolstering decision-making and streamlining operational efficiency.

Benefits of Real-Time Tracking and Monitoring

Real-time tracking in MRO operations enhances efficiency, optimizes response strategies, and boosts productivity by eliminating redundant tasks. Providing a holistic view of processes, it sharpens inventory forecasting, curtails costs, and preempts system failures. Real-time tracking tools are a linchpin in transforming MRO operations, fueling proactive responses, and paving the way for a more efficient future.

Predictive Analytics for Proactive MRO Planning

Predictive analytics is revolutionizing MRO planning, shifting the paradigm from a reactive stance to a proactive strategy. By leveraging historical data, predictive analytics enables companies to anticipate equipment failures, driving a more efficient and strategic approach to maintenance. With predictive maintenance pinpointing potential faults, MRO operations can optimally schedule repairs, increase efficiency, and reduce costs and downtime.

Leveraging Technology for Enhanced MRO Performance

A Deloitte survey reveals a contrast: 84% of Aerospace and Defense executives see digital tech as vital for market distinction. Yet only a quarter have capitalized on it. These figures hint at the untapped potential in enhancing MRO performance through technology, and we’re about to explore why.

Visibility Across a Vast Capacity Network

Technology can dramatically elevate MRO performance by improving visibility and operational efficiency. Utilizing digital solutions like e-procurement and inventory management systems offer real-time insights and automation. Enhanced collaboration and a holistic approach, uniting processes, people, and technology, can trim MRO costs by 8-15%, as highlighted by Deloitte.

Collaborative Platforms for Efficient Communication

Collaborative platforms, leveraging the synergy of processes, people, and technology, significantly optimize MRO performance through immediate, effective communication. These digital outlets, vital within the aerospace and defense sector, respond adeptly to customer demands, market headwinds, and pricing pressures by incorporating emerging technologies to streamline operations.

Cloud-Based Systems for Instant Access to Visibility

Cloud-based systems are reshaping MRO performance, granting immediate access to real-time data for swift risk mitigation. They foster reliability and cost efficiency by seemingly linking scheduling, forecasting, and inventory management. Moreover, strategically using cloud-based systems can refine processes and profitability, trimming maintenance overheads. For airlines and MROs, these systems eliminate the need for on-site upkeep, offering the latest IT features, cost predictability, and smooth technology advancement.

Embrace the Future of MRO Logistics With Carrier 911

The future of MRO logistics is one dictated by emerging technologies like real-time visibility and predictive analytics. These technologies optimize MRO operations in an increasingly challenging market, from preempting potential failures to enabling proactive decision-making.

That’s precisely where companies like Carrier 911 come into play at the forefront of this transformation. With offerings ranging from emergency freight solutions to 24/7 visibility and expertise, Carrier 911 is ready immediately to help with any immediate MRO needs. Carrier 911’s services stand out for their customer-centric approach and expertise, managing every phase from service request to final delivery.

But talk is cheap. See a demo from Carrier 911 and understand how the future of MRO logistics can revolutionize your operations and enhance your bottom line.

Hire a Webflow Professional to build a website using this template. Learn More