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Three Trends Transforming MRO Planning


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Published: March 14, 2023

Many organizations are reassessing their Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) planning strategies to meet the demands of an evolving market. But meeting these demands requires fundamental shifts in long-practiced ways of working and thinking. We have identified three fundamental shifts that are transforming MRO planning in the digital age.

1. Shifting from Siloed to Collaborative Planning

Historically, MRO departments operated independently, leading to disparate planning cycles that were handed over to procurement teams. This created a massive procurement infrastructure with limited resources, leading to suboptimal utilization of assets. But in recent years, the industry has moved toward a more collaborative approach. More organizations are shedding their siloed approaches to planning and embracing an integrated-planning mindset. This new way of thinking has improved organizations’ ability to respond to crises and revolutionized the planning process. Organizations are now learning not just to put out fires but to proactively and collaboratively plan for the future, taking a longer-term approach to their MRO strategies.

2. Leveraging Technology as an MRO Planning Enabler

One of the key drivers of this transformation is implementing planning technology that facilitates an effective flow of information. Leaders are recognizing the importance of investing in capabilities and designing processes that make relevant information accessible to their teams, enabling them to respond to changing situations with speed and agility. With a focus on leveraging technology and streamlining processes, these leaders are paving the way for an MRO function that is both more efficient and better equipped to navigate the challenges of a rapidly evolving market.

3. Adopting a Holistic Approach to Planning

Integrating the lines of business involved in the MRO planning processes presents a unique challenge: balancing operational bottlenecks with the company’s growth plans amidst limited resources. Supply chain leaders face the daunting task of finding a delicate balance between serving their customers at a cost they are willing to pay while also aligning their plans with the broader corporate strategy. This often requires a reassessment of the company’s growth plans and making tough decisions to ensure the supply chain is functioning optimally. However, this holistic approach not only benefits the supply chain but also strengthens the company as a whole. By striking this delicate balance, supply chain leaders are demonstrating their mastery of the art of MRO planning and positioning their organizations for long-term success in a rapidly changing market.

Gone are the days when MRO departments could operate in silos. Also gone are the days when these departments could operate in perpetual crisis-response mode. Departments must now collaborate and utilize limited resources effectively. They must adopt a long-term outlook, embracing technology to facilitate information sharing and using data to identify potential bottlenecks and opportunities for growth.

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