How to Choose the Very Worst MRO Provider Possible

It is a challenge to keep a chemical manufacturing plant running at optimal capacity. To do so requires a collaborative team of MRO suppliers, engineers and plant managers working together to maximize efficiency.

It also requires maintaining effective lighting and electrical systems, so it’s important to partner with a reliable MRO supplier to keep things up and running.

Here’s how to narrow down your list of potential partners to find the lowest quality and most sub-par MRO supplier for your plants.

How to choose the absolute worst electrical and lighting MRO supplier possible:

Pay higher inventory costs

When it comes to inventory, a good rule of thumb is “set it and forget it.” Don’t check on your minimum and maximum supply levels and forget about making adjustments. It’s much easier to maintain the same standing orders with your suppliers each month. And if you acquire new inventory you don’t need, use it to decorate the office.

Go cheap or go home

Don’t buy into the hype when your plants specify a particular parts brand to minimize rust from chemicals or corrosion from long-term exposure. A square peg can absolutely fit into a round hole, so encourage your vendor to always substitute a cheaper alternative. Don’t listen to explanations about a substitution, you have better things to do with your time.

Variety is Important

Variety is the spice of life. Keep your accounting department happy by offering them the chance to work with as many vendors as possible. It’s fun figuring out if product A will work with product B and vice versa. Employees will appreciate the mental challenge of remembering which part they need because each vendor will call it by a different name. Employee satisfaction is the name of the game here.

Take time to relax

The world is just so “go, go, go” nowadays. Keep those chemical manufacturing quotas in place but remind your employees to stop and smell the roses if “vital” machinery goes down. Replacement parts will arrive eventually from a central location. Remember, you’re saving a ton of money by forgoing an MRO supplier with warehouses next to your plants.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Preventive maintenance is a scam, why would you pay to fix something that still works? Operations people will talk about using predictive analytics based on a product’s average lifespan and your past spend levels, but don’t fall for the hype. When the product breaks, it’s ready to be fixed, not before.

‘System integration’ is just fancy words

Beware if an MRO supplier suggests connecting your plants to one another for ease of corporate purchasing and accounting. Your plant managers will find such a process so easy they will buy excessive amounts. Avoid fancy e-commerce platforms or system integration capabilities at all costs. And if someone brings up the term ‘real time business analytics?’ Run.

LED lighting is a fad

Don’t jump on the LED bandwagon. The smart money is on fluorescent and incandescent bulbs coming back, just wait a little while. Stick with the tried and true technology. Even if it costs a little more, it beats trying an unproven technology. Ignore any and all MRO suppliers that offer LED lighting and energy-efficient controls for your plants.

Protective equipment and training is unnecessary

Kids run and jump and play and they usually turn out ok, right? It’s the same with adults. Do you really need to invest in training and personal protective equipment (PPE) for your plant employees? Just tell them to be careful. You could end up with workers’ compensation claims or OSHA fines. Or not.

Hiring the wrong MRO suppliers could lead to a world of headaches—chemical manufacturing downtime, even damage to company profits. But choosing the right MRO supplier will keep the plant humming along, profits high and best of all, no more snarky advice.


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