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ERIKS Unveils Groundbreaking MRO Supply Chain Report in Collaboration with the Institute of Engineering & Technology

by Anna

In a groundbreaking move, ERIKS, the specialized industrial service provider, has launched the Maintenance, Repair, and Operational (MRO) Supply Chain report in partnership with the Institute of Engineering & Technology. This comprehensive report, derived from an extensive survey, delves into key aspects of MRO procurement, the engineering stores function, and the MRO supply chain, presenting critical insights essential for optimizing operational efficiency.

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Among the report’s revelations, a significant milestone is the establishment of a direct link between unscheduled downtime and the operations of the engineering stores, supply chain, and MRO procurement. For the first time, the survey, which raised close to £5000 for charities, identifies spares availability and lead time issues as the primary causes of downtime in UK manufacturing businesses in 2023.

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Moreover, the report sheds light on the substantial financial impact on UK manufacturers who collectively write off millions of pounds worth of MRO stock annually. A comparative analysis between data from 2016 and 2023 exposes a marked decline in oversight in this area. The stockpiling trend, triggered by factors such as Brexit, the global pandemic, and the conflict in Ukraine, has led to businesses tying up cash in inventory, resulting in write-offs as products age or remain unused. The report underscores the serious issue of MRO product obsolescence, providing a detailed examination of its implications.

A noteworthy finding addresses the phenomenon of ‘squirrel stores,’ where engineers maintain private stocks of MRO equipment. Beyond its seemingly innocuous appearance, this practice highlights a lack of trust between engineers, stores, and purchasing teams. With 55% of respondents citing this as an issue, the report explores trends and suggests potential solutions, emphasizing the impact on data accuracy regarding a site’s performance.

While the report reveals challenges faced by UK businesses, it also offers guidance on potential improvements. Paul Lynch, Chief Commercial Officer for ERIKS in the UK and Ireland, emphasized the significance of the findings, stating, “The direct link to downtime and the sheer monetary value of stock being written off were really astounding. However, what was positive was that most businesses were not accepting the situation and doing nothing but were exploring potential improvements.”

Lynch added, “This report, we believe, highlights the danger of doing that and brings to the fore the huge gains if this area is brought up to World Class standard.” The report serves as a call to action, urging businesses to recognize the importance of elevating the MRO supply chain, procurement, and engineering stores to world-class standards for sustained success.

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