Service businesses: Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO)

In the Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) sector, providing customers with a reliable service is of paramount importance. With strict service level agreements in place, customers depend on distributors of maintenance products to be able to provide all of the essential parts and components they require at a moment’s notice. After-all any availability issue could bring the customer’s operation to a grinding halt.

However, faced with huge assortments encompassing everything from bearings and seals to power trains and tools, coupled with the extremely sporadic nature of demand, keeping inventory levels under control is a daunting task for supply chain teams.

With Slim4, businesses can regain control over their MRO operation. Through providing greater insight over the entire assortment, Slim4 enables MRO businesses to optimize their approach to inventory management. The result: greater efficiency and increased customer satisfaction.

Why optimize your MRO operation with Slim4

  • Make your inventory work harder through improving stock turn
  • Improve efficiency by up to 50%
  • Achieve service levels of up to 99%

Effective assortment management: Maximize the value of the long tail

When it comes to Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul, customers expect businesses to provide a single source for all of their repair and maintenance needs. Consequently, being able to provide an extensive assortment encompassing a broad number of product categories is a major competitive differentiator. However, with such a vast number of products to manage, many of which are subjected to highly irregular demand patterns, keeping up with this long tail of products can prove a constant battle for supply chain teams. Unless managed effectively, businesses in this complex environment can quickly find themselves exposed to painful availability issues as working capital is needlessly tied up in wrong items.

With Slim4, distributors of MRO products can help businesses gain far greater insight into the performance of each item in order to determine the most effective inventory strategy. Through the advanced ABC functionality of Slim4, supply chain teams can categorize items at a product group level based on a range of different metrics. This, in turn, enables supply chain teams to apply dynamic differentiated service levels. With greater visibility and focus on the items that matter, businesses can optimize their investment in inventory in order to gain a tighter grip on supply chain costs while still increasing service levels.

Multi-echelon optimisation: building a more responsive operation

In order to remain responsive to customer demand, many businesses in the services sector cover a large footprint encompassing national and regional distribution centers as well as a large number of local branches and trade counters. However, with highly localized demand patterns, without clear visibility over the entire network, businesses can be subjected to excess stock and availability issues as items are stocked in the wrong location.

With the multi-echelon inventory optimization capabilities of Slim4, businesses can benefit from gaining a holistic view of inventory across the entire network. Through taking into account the inventory situation and anticipated demand for each location, supply chain teams can strategically allocate the optimal level of inventory to each location. This, in turn, results in increased availability while the overall investment in inventory decreases dramatically.

Increase supplier reliability through enhanced supply chain collaboration

In order to satisfy customer demand, businesses in the MRO sector typically rely upon a diverse range of suppliers. However, given that a business can only ever be as successful as the weakest leak in the chain it is vital that supply chain teams take every possible step to maximize the performance and reliability of their suppliers. After all, if a supplier is not delivering the right quantity in a timely manner, this could have a seriously adverse impact on availability and, consequently, customer service levels.

Slim4 enables businesses to build stronger ties with supply chain partners. Through calculating accurate purchase forecasts for 52 weeks ahead, Slim4 enables MRO businesses to automatically share invaluable data regarding their future inventory requirements. Furthermore, with Slim4’s advanced order book functionality, supply chain teams can proactively monitor purchase orders to take action in the event of delays or missed orders. Ultimately, with Slim4, businesses can establish more productive and harmonious relationships with their entire supply network.


“With help from Slim4, we’ve decreased our inventory from $42 million to $36 million.”

Corporate Manager of Supply Chain Operations

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