Efficiency in the Face of Inflation: Lessons from the MRO Industry

As someone deeply immersed in the world of Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO), I’ve observed firsthand the complex interplay between inflation and our industry. My experience has shown that the challenges we face in MRO mirror those in other sectors, like Facility Management (FM), but with some unique twists.

Efficiency plays a critical role in mitigating the impact of typical price inflation challenges. In an economic environment where prices are steadily rising, enhancing operational efficiency can be a key strategy for businesses to maintain profitability and competitiveness.

Navigating Price Inflation and Supply Shortages

In today’s economic climate, two main challenges stand out: price inflation and supply shortages. These twin pressures are reshaping how we approach MRO. Price inflation is a ubiquitous concern, affecting everything from the cost of raw materials to final product prices. Meanwhile, supply shortages compel us to explore alternative products and suppliers, often at a premium.

The Client’s Dilemma in Adaptation

In dealing with these challenges, our clients often find themselves in a bind. For example, when considering alternative products such as lubricants, a rigorous approval process is necessary. This can be a lengthy and costly endeavor, requiring scientific validation and compatibility trials. Such complexities underscore the intricate balance we must strike in our response to inflation.

Embracing Efficiency Amidst Economic Pressure

Despite the inescapable impact of inflation, I believe that efficiency is our most potent tool in combating its effects. In my work, I’ve implemented strategies from machine tool optimisation to vendor managed inventory and line side stock holding to streamline operations. These tactics not only address inflation’s direct impacts but also enhance overall efficiency.

A case in point was our project with an aircraft maintenance firm where we introduced mobile vending machines. This innovation drastically cut down on wasted time and boosted productivity, illustrating how thoughtful resource management can yield significant benefits. A further example is where by changing tooling we reduced the time to manufacture parts by 32%, whilst reducing to cost of the tooling too.

The Wider Manufacturing Perspective

Expanding the lens to the manufacturing sector, the effects of inflation are equally pronounced. Manufacturers are squeezed between rising input costs and the need to competitively price their products. The solution, I’ve found, lies in operational efficiency. It’s about more than just controlling material costs; it encompasses every aspect of the manufacturing process.

How ERA can help

My experiences in MRO during these inflationary times have reaffirmed my belief in the power of efficiency and strategic resource management. These principles are crucial not just for weathering the current economic storm but also for maintaining a competitive edge in an ever-evolving market landscape.

I pride myself on being able to communicate with suppliers on equal terms, challenging their margins, assumptions, and contracts to ensure they present the most fitting and valuable solutions. Get in touch today.