MRO storeroom best practices - are you kitting me?

The storeroom is an integral part of an efficient and effective maintenance process. Equipment reliability, uptime, and frontline productivity rely on having the right spare parts and tools available in the right quantity when the work order is scheduled.



By Andy Gager, Director Consulting Serivices, Marshall Institute

The storeroom is an integral part of an efficient and effective maintenance process. Equipment reliability, uptime, and frontline productivity rely on having the right spare parts and tools available in the right quantity when the work order is scheduled. That's why having the correct tactical and strategic processes in place can turn your storeroom into a profit center. Today we are going to focus on kitting, one of the key tactical processes. Kitting is the process of identifying and preparing - in advance - the material and tools required to successfully execute the work order in the least disruptive manner. Effective kitting requires other key maintenance systems such as planning, scheduling, and an established PM program to be in place. The main benefit of kitting is increasing productivity through greater wrench time and limiting downtime by purging non-valued activities. In a typical organization 18% of a technician's time is spent looking for parts and another 24%-26% is walking to and fro the job site. If you haven't experienced it yourself, I'm sure you have seen techs and craftspeople make multiple trips to the storeroom looking for what they need to finish the work.

Below is an ideal kitting process for effective work execution; however it assumes that supporting systems are in place.

— Attain high storeroom credibility (i.e. inventory accuracy).
— Locate all materials and tools for the work order.
— Place them in a designated "staging" area.
— The staging area must be secure, organized, and kits easily retrievable.
— Once scheduled, the kit may then be transferred to the site prior to the event so that the craftspeople have all they need to complete the work order.
— Review all closed and unfulfilled orders for materials used, returned, work order rescheduling, job close out, etc.

If you are not currently following this kitting process then look for a quick win such as identifying a staging area in the storeroom where you can begin kitting. The easiest of work orders to start are the regularly scheduled PM work orders. I suggest piloting a specific area to start. Debug the process and then roll out to other areas.

To truly be an effective storeroom you must operate as one within all manufacturing processes, production, planning, scheduling, operations, etc. To become the most effective organization, engage others in your efforts to become more effective. After all, although we all have sub-goals and objectives we are all working towards a common organizational goal.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.