What are Maintenance, Repair, Operations (MRO) Items?

Definition: Maintenance, repair, operations (MRO) items are products and materials purchased by a company that are not directly employed in its manufacturing process. These products are mostly used to keep the business’ operations running.

What Does Maintenance, Repair, Operations (MRO) Items Mean?

MRO purchases are an important part of most manufacturing and service businesses. Even though these items are not a direct part of the product being assembled they contribute to maintain adequate operational standards, guaranteeing that all the different areas of the business have what they need to function properly.

Some of these elements are machinery and vehicle spare parts, lubricants, office materials, industrial equipment, consumables, computers or work gear such as boots, uniforms, vests and helmets.

Depending on the nature of the business these elements normally constitute a considerable part of the company’s purchase budget and the process through which they are acquired, handled and stored should guarantee that they are being productively employed in order to get the most out of these purchases. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems normally include a section of MRO Management that will help companies to increase the efficiency of this crucial business process.


Golden Eagle Motorcyles Co. is a company that manufacture high-end motorcycles for the U.S. market. They are currently looking to hire an MRO Manager, since they have identified an abnormal increase in MRO purchases. The company’s Board of Directors suspects that some workers are stealing equipment and spare parts, since an inventory procedure made recently revealed missing items valued at $72,000.

An individual named Sean was hired as the MRO Manager and he has the difficult task to identify and deal with this issue immediately by conducting an auditing procedure and an asset protection program that reduce this alarming figure to a minimum. In order to do so, he implemented strict rules that include a separate space for all carrying items that workers introduce to the factory and cyclical inventory procedures to detect any missing items immediately.

This program reduced the losses by 85% in 3 months and made the Board very happy.

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