Optimizing MRO inventory strategies to reduce supply chain risk

Young man working at a warehouse with boxes

A cloud solution reaching across all systems

With cloud platforms and services becoming more widely adopted, optimizing your MRO inventory management strategy via cloud technology presents the opportunity to review spend and supplies. This allows you to gain a full visibility and control of the flow of goods across your organization and global supply networks.

Adopting a purpose built platform to pull MRO inventory data into a single view fosters your supply chain maturity and offers numerous advantages over analog inventory management. This includes visually capturing critical information through dashboards that provide analytics around aspects such as item usage history, optimized safety stock, lower cash spending on standing inventory, access to vendor catalogs and performance metrics, and equipment management. 

These advantages embody the added functionality cloud solutions allow your company to keep the internal knowledge of veteran team members in house. Adopting these key components is fundamental to increasing material visibility and ensuring regular review between all MRO inventory systems in your production network.

Actionable insights of MRO inventory data to drive better results

Cloud solutions provide you opportunities for collaboration between finance, maintenance, and asset management to consolidate data from all enterprise sectors in order to improve overall supply chain performance and customer satisfaction.

Unfortunately, much of your MRO inventory management required to keep production lines running still relies upon using complex spreadsheets and slow methods of communication. These systems may store relevant data, but lack the capacity to analyze it for predictive maintenance and strategic decision-making.

Integrating a supply chain intelligence solution to glean actionable insights from MRO data delivers ongoing status checks into your data, provides fast results, and ensures the optimal levels of inventory are maintained while avoiding obsolete stock, overstocking, under-stocking, and outages.

Data science and deep learning to identify duplicates 

There are a wide range of adverse side-effects like duplicate parts or long lead times that you must account for regularly. These challenges become exponentially more difficult to manage or identify as changes in the supplier base allow updated models, replacements, or substitutes to be listed under new part names or numbers despite no change to the item itself.

When it comes to manual data entry, you often experience inconsistencies since a disciplined process for setting up new parts or items often doesn’t exist. This is further compounded when organizations are unable to capture institutionalized human intelligence from materials experts within their organization. AI solutions that can identify duplicate SKUs provide methods for advanced inventory management with a significantly diminished probability of error. 

Furthermore, as companies rely on multiple, disconnected systems, whether through M&A activity, facility age, or multiple ERP instances, it becomes next to impossible for you to pull together a “complete” picture of all existing materials and determine when and where overlaps occur. AI monitoring of MRO inventory items can aid companies in locating and eliminating duplicates by providing increasingly accurate material visibility within their supply network.

Additionally, AI integration helps bridge the gap between past company processes and present. Doing so ensures inventory data stays consistent during team member or company transitions.

Real time reporting and analytics 

Introducing visualization tools to augment human processes can enable better tracking and planning of inventory. This has become an even greater priority as pointed out by McKinsey & Co that, “Since 2011, indirect spend has been growing by an estimated 7 percent per year globally.”

Software designed to harmonize data across multiple systems can facilitate the organization of materials, equipment, supplies, and a plethora of other MRO costs.

Using AI generated recommendations for strategic MRO Inventory management can improve supply and materials plans and predict future needs. A preemptive step for network materials management can then be implemented to prevent stockouts or overstocking.

Organizations that have successfully shifted from costly reactionary supply chain operational methods to counteract an upcoming maintenance event or disruption is often due to the adoption of tools that provide real-time reporting. With this feature enabled via AI integration, ongoing processes are regularly monitored and analyzed for strategic advantages and predictive outcomes.

It is the increased visibility afforded by deep learning recognition that makes AI such an integral part of supply chain dynamics. With more control and dissemination, data can be utilized to make informed decisions that reduce overall supply chain risk.  

Deep learning supports ongoing inventory optimization

Rapid developments in data science and machine learning not only provide a number of decision-making elements for supply chain management, but also allow your processes to run intelligently and learn from historical data points. While many people assume artificial intelligence is designed to replace team members, it actually helps to humanize the supply chain by embedding team knowledge into the solution in order to give your employees more time to focus on satisfying and meaningful tasks.

Adopting technology for intelligent inventory decision-optimization allows your team to adapt to current operational conditions, supplier trends, and user inputs as recommendations occur. Integration of deep learning capabilities takes this one step further to predict needs of MRO materials so that production downtime is minimized.

Realizing material truth through supply chain intelligence support takes the guessing game out of facility maintenance and repair and prevents costly inventory pitfalls like overstocking caused by data latency occurring in your supply chain operations. 

To learn how supply chain solutions can help empower your team, download the white paper on MRO optimization today.

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