The worst advice we’ve ever heard about lighting and electrical MRO management

Keeping a food or beverage plant running at peak capacity is hard and it requires a top-notch team of MRO suppliers and plant managers and engineers collaborating together.

Plants don’t work without functional electrical systems and effective lighting. A dependable MRO supplier will keep these areas operating smoothly so your plants have minimal downtime.

This guide will teach you what to look for in choosing the most inferior and inadequate MRO supplier for your plants.

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

Increase inventory costs

Maximize your inventory costs by never reviewing your usage statistics. Definitely don’t ask your supplier to examine your min/max supply levels and don’t adjust where necessary. Keep up the exact same standing order you’ve always used with your suppliers, even if your stockrooms are filled with brand new inventory you don’t need.

Substitute the spec’d parts

So what, if your plants specify a particular brand so parts won’t rust from exposure to water in the washdown shifts or corrode from the cleaning chemicals? Go ahead and let the vendor substitute parts with cheaper alternatives they have lying around. Definitely don’t require the vendor to tell you about the substitution either, as that will just waste time. Instead, enjoy the surprise when your orders arrive.

 Contract as many suppliers as possible

A good rule of thumb is to hire a different supplier for each plant. Product standardization is overrated, and the corporate accounting department loves to work with as many vendors as possible. Your employees will enjoy the challenge of figuring out which part they need when it’s in the system with 20 different names because each of your suppliers calls it something different.

Get your parts ….eventually!

Teach your plants to be patient. Just because some “vital” machinery is broken, doesn’t mean they can’t wait until tomorrow or the next day to get the replacement parts. An MRO supplier with warehouses next to your plants will probably cost a lot. It’s worth it to keep the plants idle and pay for expedited freight when things break so you can get the savings from a cheaper MRO supplier who has warehouses in central hubs and ships the parts hundreds of miles to the plants when needed.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

If your MRO supplier offers preventative maintenance, you know they are not the right vendor for you. Why would you replace something that still works? Don’t fall into the trap of using predictive analytics based on the product’s average lifespan and your past spend levels. Don’t bother with preventative maintenance. It’s much better to wait until things break before fixing them—that way, you get your money’s worth from everything you buy.

System integration is overrated

Your MRO supplier may offer to connect your plants to each other and make company-wide investments for easy purchasing and accounting, but it’s just a trap. The easier it is to buy parts, the more your plant managers will buy. Save money by using a supplier without any of those fancy e-commerce platforms or system integration capabilities. Besides, who needs real-time business analytics anyway?

Don’t look for ways to lower power costs

LED lighting is a fad and soon, everyone will go back using fluorescent and incandescent lighting. There’s no reason to try and cut energy costs with this unproven technology. If your MRO supplier offers LED lighting and energy-efficient controls for your plants, run!

Protective equipment and training is unnecessary

Why invest in training and personal protective equipment (PPE) for your plant employees? Just tell them to be careful. You won’t end up with any worker’s compensation claims or OSHA fines. Probably.

As you can see, the wrong MRO supplier can do a lot of damage to your company’s bottom line and contribute to plant downtime.  The right MRO supplier can keep your processing lines running on time and lower spend, without all the snark and misguided advice.


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