When to Use Internal vs. External Resources to Get Your MRO House in Order


Most companies have discovered that outsourcing or engaging contractors to run their ongoing MRO internal functions does not deliver the expected benefits. A far better approach is to implement standards and practices, from accurate standard operating procedures (SOPs) to standardization of critical MRO item data, that provides invaluable key performance indicators (KPIs).

Furthermore, by implementing suitable training, SOPs, and KPI’s for managers to monitor, a company’s own employees can run these functions more effectively. This approach also enables cross training of employees to handle critical peak periods as they arise within the operation.

Where outsourcing can be most effective is when MRO data needs to be cleansed and standardized. Without quality and standardized MRO data, your critical MRO functions will be negatively impacted by poor decision making. As an example, creating a work order but assigning the wrong part will cause unnecessary downtime and inefficient preventive maintenance practices.

Companies do not have the time to standardize and enrich large volumes of critical MRO item data, and since these types of projects only last for a specified timeframe, inhouse experts are not able to fully perform core functions during such assignments. A more cost-effective and time-efficient approach is to rely on specialists whose sole area of expertise is MRO item data. These data experts can cost-effectively create a sustainable data quality model that ensures the ongoing quality of MRO item information does not deteriorate into bad or corrupt data.

In past articles, we discussed the favorable return for embarking on MRO data projects. Here, we address how to evaluate and differentiate alternative providers (resources) of MRO data solutions that can provide best value to achieve project objectives with lower investment and risk.

Consider that MRO item master data depends on two critical undertakings:

  • The one-time process of standardizing, cleansing and enriching your MRO materials items in the database. Getting your data in perfect shape is critical to optimizing your plant operations.
  • Ongoing data governance to ensure your MRO item master information is sustainable even as you add more items to your database once the one-time process of cleansing is complete.

Recently, one of our articles focused on how data governance requires an effective organizational structure. We invite you to read it, here.

The next important question is: “How to best invest in the right data governance system that supports the critical undertakings noted above and compliments your data governance organizational structure”.

Some form of MRO master data solutions are usually featured in various ERP/EAM and CMMS systems.  However, the complexity and lack of functionality often causes the system users to either avoid or not use the application effectively. Thus, MRO data quality deteriorates again over time for lack of system’s functional capabilities and appeal. Enterprise systems main focus is to process transactional information, such as maintenance work orders, purchase orders and inventory receipts/issues. Its features are not superior for the sustainability of critical metadata for your MRO materials.

Many companies overcome these issues by utilizing niche MRO data solutions providers to compliment and securely interface with their ERP/EAM and CMMS systems.

Niche providers offer solutions that are intuitive and developed with the consideration of the type of user, including, engineering, maintenance, procurement and storeroom personnel.  And yet niche provider solutions are comprehensive data governance tools requiring minimal investment and realizing a high rate of return.

The chart below proves how niche providers such as Net Results Group is a smart choice for your organization.

As a niche provider, Net Results Group has years of expertise in cleansing and standardizing MRO items and supports the on-going sustainability of your MRO data utilizing its database of already cleansed and enriched MRO item records, and professionals that have worked in the MRO domain with an average of 18 years in the maintenance and industrial products fields.

Net Results Group cloud based and mobile-ready application, MRO3iTM easily attains the objectives for your MRO master data workflow, data quality and on-going governance to give you the reliability you expect from your MRO data.

MRO3i includes functionality for bill of materials (BOM) parts list development, provides “where used” information by MRO item, and is easily utilized as a storeroom and equipment walk-down tool.

Re-emphasizing again, your organization will get the most value from a niche provider at the lowest cost. This is what every organization strives for in their pursuit for better MRO data to make smarter operational and purchasing decisions.

Contact Net Results Group to get more insight and confirmation of how substantial a niche provider can be to your organization. We offer up-front assessment and project planning developing the business case and measurable hard dollar benefits you will realize in 18 months or less.


February 23, 2021