Supply chains involve an incredibly complex arrangement of separate parts, working together as a whole. In any complex system, there are areas where efficiency and productivity can be improved. These hidden opportunities, once identified and exploited, can immediately start saving money and resources for a company.
To uncover those hard-to-identify opportunities many businesses and MRO providers miss, businesses require state of the art engineering services. Engineers who are experienced in supply chain management can examine the entire system from start to finish, and find opportunities others would miss. Of course, not all engineers can provide the specific engineering services that a business needs.
What They Won’t Tell You
Most MRO service providers won’t tell a business that they can’t do something. They view it as bad business to admit to limitations. Instead, they may offer engineering services, which are then outsourced to an engineering firm. A third-party engineering contractor typically costs more, while having less direct experience in supply chain management.
The fact is, most MRO service providers don’t have their own in-house engineering services. They rely on third-party contractors or they don’t offer engineering services at all. In either situation, a company that is looking for an end-to-end supply chain management solution winds up with limited or inferior service.
The Importance of Dedicated Engineering Services
In-house engineers work side-by-side with all of the members of the MRO team. They’re on the ground at client sites, examining every aspect of the supply chain. As an integrated part of the supply chain management process, these engineers are able to quickly identify and implement cost-saving measures that improve productivity and profitability.
There is no substitute for experience. Third-party engineering service providers typically handle a wide variety of engineering needs. Engineers who are part of an MRO services team work specifically on the unique problems associated with MRO supply chains. This intense, industry specific experience gives them a definite advantage over outsourced engineering service providers.
Advantages of In-House Engineering Services
Dedicated MRO engineering service providers are experts at finding the weak links in supply chains. Once these weak links are found, engineers can identify and enact improvements that will cut costs and improve efficiency. While specific needs will vary from business to business, a few of the most common MRO improvement areas are:
- Maintenance and Repair Costs: By evaluating the maintenance and repair history, engineers can help businesses avoid unplanned failures, minimize expensive repairs, and ensure that the correct parts are in place before repairs are needed.
- Inventory Management: Using inventory data and market research, industry-specific engineers compare existing inventory to needed inventory. This reduces excess inventory while minimizing the chance of shortages.
- Proper Part Sourcing: Many OEM distributors simply relabel third-party parts and add a premium. MRO engineers can identify the original source of these parts, and purchase them without the added costs of the OEM label.
- Part Identification Standards: Often, physically identical parts have different inventory or identification numbers. This leads to product duplication and overstocking. MRO engineers can identify these parts, reducing inventory and providing the business with more leverage for price negotiations.
MRO Service Providers and Engineering Services
While some MRO providers may offer engineering services, very few offer those services through an in-house team of engineers. When considering multiple MRO companies, make sure engineering services is a major factor in making your decision. The In-house engineers at SDI work closely with clients and other team members, have greater industry-specific experience, and provide better solutions to improve your bottom line. Connect with us today to find out how our Engineers can help improve your bottom line.