MRO Suppliers: A Checklist for Food, Beverage Companies

Reliable lighting and electrical systems are critical for food and beverage processing plants. A little glitch can quickly spiral into expensive downtime and product waste.

A proficient MRO supplier of electrical and lighting parts can be the difference between a plant plagued with downtime and recalls and a plant that operates without a hitch. That’s why food and beverage processors need to partner with the best MRO company possible.

Here’s how the leading food and beverage companies choose their MRO supplier:

Local service with one national account

Instead of having a different local MRO supplier for each plant, companies with several locations would do best to contract a single MRO partner who can service all their plants. Working with an assortment of MRO vendors virtually guarantees inconsistency, higher costs and more complicated corporate accounting.

When a company works with a single MRO partner that has locations near all their plants, they can leverage the partnership for consistent service, which includes simplified vendor relations, lower prices and outstanding local service backed with national resources.

Local distributors near each plant are key

Choosing the right MRO partner depends on how well the company’s distributor network matches the map of plant locations. MRO vendors may offer cost savings in the contract, but if those savings are based on a small network of distributors far away from your plants, using a hub-and-spoke supply chain model, those paper savings will quickly balloon into real costs.

It is critical that the MRO partner have distributors near each plant they serve, and the distributors need to carry the needed inventory, so they can quickly deliver parts and restore plants after work stoppages. A “cheaper” MRO supplier is actually quite expensive when it takes a day or two to get parts every time a plant has a breakdown.

Lower inventory costs

The right MRO vendor will help clients streamline inventory by identifying what is critical and what isn’t. Critical items should be stored onsite in specified quantities, while the MRO supplier can maintain a supply of non-critical items, delivering them on an as-needed basis. This model reduces operating costs for the customer, frees up storage space in their facilities and ensures they always have what they need when they need it.

Uniform pricing and product standardization

When food and beverage companies work with an assortment of MRO suppliers, it’s unlikely that they will receive anything close to uniform pricing. Each vendor will have a different price for each product. Also, products will have different names and the organization may end up using different products for the same purpose.

Consolidating electrical and lighting MRO into a single partner ensures that pricing is consistent across the organization and products. Products are used uniformly and standardized by purpose. No more does having a dozen plants mean 12 sets of product names, 12 different prices and 12 different vendors to manage. With a single partner, these issues are eliminated and corporate accounting is much simpler.

Full-system integration

Besides electrical and lighting parts, MRO suppliers need to deliver an e-commerce solution for easy customer ordering and accounting. A single purchasing portal that serves as the front end for receivables and the back end for payables makes purchasing a breeze and gives customers important analytics. These analytics include real-time reporting, documented cost savings, purchases by locations and top manufacturers purchased, giving customers a comprehensive picture of their business operations and costs.

The right MRO partner can keep the food and beverage processing lines running on time, all the time and without recalls.



Learn how IM Supply provides exceptional local MRO service on a national scale. Talk to an IM Supply specialist or download the whitepaper.

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