Why Your MRO Inventory Data Challenges Won’t Be Solved by an ERP Upgrade

MRO Data Challenges

When it comes to efficient procurement, where meticulous inventory management is paramount, Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) the ability to trust your MRO data can make or break your MRO strategy. 

Despite this importance, many organizations mistakenly believe that a mere upgrade to their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system will help them overcome their MRO data challenges, if only long enough for them to implement a better MDM policy. News flash – organizations almost never get around to it.

Furthermore, this assumption overlooks the intricate nuances and specific demands of managing MRO inventory effectively. In this blog, we’ll dissect this misconception and dive head first into the reasons why relying solely on an ERP upgrade will never adequately address the complexities of MRO data management.

Removing Data Dependencies Around MRO Inventory Classifiers and Naming

One of the most formidable obstacles in MRO data management is the lack of standardization and consistency in inventory classifiers and naming conventions. Unlike direct materials with well-defined specifications, MRO items often lack uniformity, leading to confusion and inefficiencies in inventory management. These challenges stem from a broad supplier base, a lack of categorization, decentralized inventory management practices, and M&A activity occurring over decades.

While an ERP upgrade may promise improvements in data organization, it typically overlooks the intricacies of MRO inventory management. The lack of visibility seems insurmountable, so many organizations elect not to migrate historical MRO data during the upgrade. This further shrouds the data in darkness, making it even harder to manage. 

Procurement professionals must vocalize the unique challenges posed by MRO data and recognize that purpose-built MRO technology solutions are essential to ensure accuracy and reliability. AI-powered platforms now have the ability to make sense of an organization’s MRO data as it currently stands, eliminating the need for a costly data cleanse, delivering the results procurement and operations teams want, and simultaneously supporting the ERP upgrade initiative. It’s a “win-win” for the entire organization.

Preserving MRO Data Often Lost During ERP Upgrades or Migrations

ERP upgrades or migrations pose a significant risk of MRO data loss, particularly concerning critical MRO data. The transition process can inadvertently lead to data discrepancies, inaccuracies, and even loss of essential historical inventory information. Such disruptions can disrupt procurement operations, resulting in stockouts, production delays, and increased operational risks. 

While ERP upgrades may introduce new functionalities and features, they often overlook the vital aspect of preserving MRO data insights throughout the transition. Procurement professionals must prioritize safeguarding MRO data during upgrades or migrations to mitigate these risks and ensure seamless continuity in procurement operations.

Not only will this reduce significant risk of stockouts, it will reduce the risk of purchasing materials that are already in stock, often in excess. Losing all insight into what sitting on storeroom shelves across the enterprise will ultimately result in costly write-offs due to waste, or worse, production outages due to shortages. Harnessing this data within a purpose built, AI-powered MRO platform ensures MRO visibility and optimization initiatives continue without interruption.

IT Resources Are Focused on ERP Implementation, Neglecting MRO Data Needs

In many organizations, the bulk of IT resources are allocated to the implementation and rollout of ERP upgrades. While this focus is understandable given the effort required for ERP adoptions and integration team management, it often leads to neglecting critical data issues, especially concerning MRO inventory management. The intricacies of MRO data c are almost always overshadowed by the urgency of ERP implementation timelines.

 As a result, data-related challenges persist, hindering procurement efficiency and accuracy. Procurement professionals must advocate for dedicated attention to MRO data issues, ensuring that MRO data and inventory management receive the necessary resources and focus alongside ERP upgrades.

De-risking Upgrade Challenges: Implementation Delays, Unexpected Costs, and Adoption Issues

ERP upgrades are notorious for their inherent challenges, including implementation delays, unexpected costs, and adoption hurdles. Procurement professionals must recognize and call attention to organizational stakeholders that relying solely on an ERP upgrade to address MRO data challenges carries significant risks. 

The complexities of MRO data management require specialized solutions that go beyond ERP functionalities. By exploring alternative approaches, such as a platform dedicated to MRO optimization, organizations can mitigate the risks associated with ERP upgrades and ensure smoother transitions. 

These specialized solutions should utilize AI to analyze your existing MRO data to produce deeper insights and optimization opportunities than your existing tech stack provides. This platform should enable both procurement and operations professionals to navigate upgrade challenges more effectively and minimize disruptions to procurement processes and production operations.

Finding a Solution Beyond ERP Upgrades: Purpose-Built MRO Optimization and Collaboration

To effectively tackle MRO data challenges, procurement professionals need to explore solutions beyond ERP upgrades and invest in a dedicated MRO optimization and collaboration platform. These specialized tools are purpose-built to address the unique complexities of MRO data management and are powered by AI to offer advanced functionalities such as harnessing the insights living in your existing MRO data, that allow you to decrease risk, decrease capital, and gain full visibility  of your MRO inventory. 

By leveraging a platform purpose-built for MRO , procurement professionals can gain granular control over MRO inventory data, ensuring accuracy, consistency, and reliability. Furthermore, these tools empower procurement teams with actionable insights and analytics to optimize MRO procurement strategies, reduce costs, and mitigate risks. With streamlined processes and enhanced collaboration, organizations can improve overall operational efficiency and drive success in today’s competitive landscape.

To learn more about how using artificial intelligence to overcome data discrepancies can help optimize your MRO inventory and save you millions, check out the MRO Cost Savings Calculator today.