5 Strategies for Maximizing Efficiency in Your MRO Supply Chain

Supply chain conditions are improving, but the need to optimize operations for profit and efficiency remains. Here are five important ways to ensure your MRO supply chain is ready to grow and handle future challenges.

Optimize Supplier Relationships

Tail spend is tough. It strains procurement, challenges operations, and can bog down growth initiatives. To optimize the MRO supply chain, assess your current list of vendors and suppliers. Determine necessary changes.

Assessing knowledgeable distributors and suppliers can give you an advantage in operations, saving costs and labor. By working closely with your suppliers, you can agree on good terms that benefit both your business and theirs.

Setting up regular communication channels is a foundational element for maintaining open lines of dialogue and enables effective coordination. Sharing information and feedback promptly can improve the efficiency of the supply chain, helping with decision-making and problem-solving.

By implementing these strategies, you can create an environment of trust, reliability, and collaboration with your suppliers. This reduces risks, improves efficiency, and ensures a smooth flow of goods and services in your MRO supply chain.

Streamline Inventory Management

Managing your inventory is just as important as having the necessary spare parts and materials for your operation. It greatly affects your bottom line.

Manufacturers rely on supplier partners to handle inventory for their facilities. Why not let companies that excel in managing industrial MRO supply do the heavy lifting?

Many suppliers and distributors offer some form of Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI). VMI can help your supply chain, but it's crucial to assess if it fits your needs. Not all VMI programs are equal, so evaluate them carefully. VMI allows suppliers to take control over inventory management on behalf of the buyer, reducing stock-outs and supply chain disruptions.

Leverage Technology to Serve Your Business

There is a push to update facilities with new technologies and undergo digital transformation to stay competitive in today's market. However, in this area, more than ever, one size does not fit all.

Industrial end-users require a more nuanced and creative approach. Technology now enables facilities to link their drives, controls, and equipment to the cloud, along with sensors for monitoring.

The benefits are enormous, but that is not the full picture. What about cyber security? Are you able to make critical decisions based on the information you have or is it just noise? How about a dashboard to aggregate all this information onto one unified platform?

All these questions and more will shape the future of your operation and its ability to compete.

Enhance Internal Communication

Effective communication within your organization is essential for a well-optimized MRO supply chain. Establish clear channels for sharing information between departments, such as maintenance, procurement, and operations.

Encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing to improve coordination and reduce duplicative efforts. Most importantly, loop in your strategic suppliers to the conversation. Open and transparent dialogue is the key to success here.

Continuously Evaluate Performance

A strategic distribution partner will be able to track success and identify areas for improvement. Clear and consistent communication is key here and establishing effective KPIs is critical to profitability and continuous improvement.

Ensure you track the correct metrics and that your distribution partner comprehends your current goals. Involve them early to assist in planning for the future.

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Scott Dowell


Scott Dowell, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the U.S. Industrial and CIG business, Wesco
Scott Dowell is Senior Vice President and General Manager of the U.S. Industrial and CIG business for Wesco. In his current role, Scott is responsible for leading the strategy, execution and growth of our industrial, automation, institutional and government end users across the U.S. Scott has over 25 years of experience in distribution and joined Wesco in 2007 to lead a strategic accounts team within the utility business. Since joining the company, he has held multiple sales and leadership roles, most recently leading Global Accounts for legacy Wesco before the acquisition of Anixter.

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