In the past years, maintenance was primarily viewed as the activity and cost of the asset operator. Manufacturers optimized the process of designing and building an asset, while the operators optimized its maintenance, repair and overhaul in a manner that would maximize revenue. In the late 1980s, most of the technical challenges were met and the approach started to change. Organizations started looking for areas of cost reduction and outsource work.
Some operators identified opportunities to increase revenues from MRO operations and established separate operational facilities. Many new maintenance-focused organizations, mainly focused on optimizing maintenance activities, sprang up.
However, the market trends over the past decade have encouraged industry players to reposition themselves across the supply chain. The result has been integration of technology end-to-end, which is one of the key drivers of the most recent supply chain technology.
Apart from this, there has been a change in how operators view the supply chain. Today’s maintenance companies are under pressure to keep an asset mobile. To accomplish this, they require better communications tools along the supply chain.
These two industry changes are the key drivers of the need for advances across the end-to-end supply chain of asset management.
Issues and Challenges Facing the MRO IndustryThe MRO industry faces the perpetual challenge of striking an optimum balance between maximizing fleet availability, minimizing operating costs and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. To strike the balance, organization have to overcome some challenges:
i) Competitive Services
Organizations have to decide the optimum set of integrated maintenance offerings that will provide both operators and asset owners with genuine levels of “service”.
ii) Predictive Maintenance
Leaders have to determine how best to predict and plan maintenance events. Moreover, they have to ensure the events are scheduled in the optimum location to allow optimum use of the available maintained asset.
iii) Effective Collaboration
Leaders should know which entities are competitors and those offering partnerships to be fostered, either in the present or future. The scope for genuine collaboration with OEMs and third party logistic suppliers and providers is greater today. However, it is usually not easy for organizations to reconfigure themselves by developing new capabilities and service offerings.
iv) Technology Utilization
Organizations may need to determine new technologies that can be deployed now and how best they can be utilized. Technology is changing rapidly in the MRO industry and organizations can barely keep up. In these exponential times, entities that can identify with change and move to offer the greatest value to the industry will thrive as future leaders.
v) Supply Chain Optimization
MRO management has to determine whether critical components and services should be physically located around the world to provide the quickest reaction time. This should be done without having to commit valuable capital investment in redundant facilities and slow moving inventory.
Automated Maintenance Planning and Part Provisioning
Let’s look at an example on how MRO providers can meet the combined challenges with effective collaboration and supply chain optimization.
Providers can use MRO software technology to access product performance in nearly real-time to get the right people with the right materials to provide maintenance at the right time. For example, an OEM may be supplying operators with on-board health monitoring systems as well as on-ground solutions to receive and process this information.
The true value of MRO providers is not in the technology they provide, but in the way the way they are structured, and how they integrate flow and usage of newly available information into their existing planning activities. The ability to manage the large amount of information that the maintenance organization needs is critical. Leveraging and integrating the information in a structured and decisive way improves the efficiency of MRO providers.
People and Parts
MRO providers have software that make it easier for organizations to gather data from different sources and digest it in a faster and accurate manner. However, the technology processes have to stop at some point and be transferred to the real world of people and parts. To take advantage of powerful diagnostics capabilities of modern MRO software and the speed of processing, organizations must prepare their employees to work with these new capabilities for their own benefit.
by Clients First Business Solutions
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