When purchasing maintenance, repair and operations supplies, there are a lot factors that can dictate the way procurement is handled. These factors can range from cost, to vendor loyalty, to product requirements. Your supply needs can also be very diverse and unpredictable since one moment you may need to order cutting tools for your machinery, the next you may need safety products to keep the workers of your plant safe.
With all the different categories of MRO, it’s easy to get caught up shopping around to order from different vendors just to get the specific product classifications that you need. However, if you go through the proper channel, you can find ways to make most if not all of your MRO purchasing from a single vendor that carries all the MRO products that meets your plant’s requirements. As such, there are a number of benefits that come with consolidating your MRO procurement down to a single source.
- Cost — Perhaps the most obvious benefit would be that of saving money. Your shipping costs would be consolidated to a single entity rather than having to deal with multiple shipping charges from different vendors. You are also more likely to be eligible for a bulk shipping or free shipping options if you are able to total all your MRO supplies into a single order.
- Time Saved — If you are able to purchase all of your MRO supplies from a single source, the time saved is compounded in multiple ways. You can make all your product selections from a single site, only have to enter your shipping and billing information once, and can go through the purchase process in a single transaction for all of your needs.
- Billing Options — Depending on the company, you may even be able to save additional time by setting up an open account or private catalog specific to your company to streamline your billing. This can be especially useful if your business has multiple locations.
- Login Credentials — By only needing a single username and password for your procurement, it eliminates the need to have multiple credentials for different websites thus saving the user the headache of having to keep track of multiple different logins.
- Customer Service — Should any order issues arise, rather than having to deal with multiple vendors, you would only have one to deal with. You only need to establish a relationship with a single customer service branch and would have a much more personal experience.
- Ongoing Transactions — If you need to do a re-order or to quick order products, you can pull everything up directly in your account, view your order history, etc…
- Replenishment Automation — With the expansion of the Internet of Things to industrialized settings, it’s worth exploring the option of if an MRO vendor is able to work with your IT infrastructure to automate aspects of your MRO inventory replenishment to save time.
In today’s busy world of good procurement, factors such as these can make all the difference. Search around and find a company that can accommodate all your needs. Though the industrial supply industry is always evolving, the advantages of the old adage of having a “one-stop shop” still ring true.
Nathan Wakefield is a marketing analyst for MBEMRO, which sells MRO products and offers a number of other cost savings solutions such as open accounts, custom catalogs and automated vending replenishment. The site is the e-commerce initiative of integrated supply firm Production Services Management Inc. He currently resides in Michigan and previously worked in IT Marketing.