When it comes to managing maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) activities, businesses across industries face unique challenges, such as optimizing asset maintenance and performance, reducing system downtime, and controlling costs across the board.

This is where SAP MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Operations) comes in to help empower companies to improve efficiencies and drive sustainable growth over time.

And, by leveraging advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT), the MRO platform makes it easier for customers to optimize maintenance planning operations, streamline work execution, and improve asset reliability.

This article will discuss the core components and capabilities of the MRO application and its advantages for SAP customers, as well as where our team of SAP consultants can come in to help.

Read on to learn more!

What are MRO Services in SAP?

MRO, or Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul services, are commonly used to describe materials used in a manufacturing or processing plant that support operations for base maintenance, line maintenance, and component repair.

SAP MRO is a powerful suite of integrated software solutions designed to support the end-to-end MRO lifecycle, providing organizations with enhanced visibility, control, and flexibility in managing their complex assets, maintenance processes, and supply chain operations.

Key Components of the SAP MRO Solution

Maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services in SAP are separated into a few key components: inventory management, asset maintenance and service processing, planning, provisioning, procurement, and sales.

Let’s take a closer look at each sub-component of the MRO solution in SAP:

1) Inventory Management

In aerospace and defense industries, a large inventory is necessary to fill urgent needs for spare parts or other supplies, fulfill complex technical object requirements, and manage complicated product structures in the most efficient and effective manner.

The Parts Interchangeability and Customer Stock applications are leveraged to help defense and aerospace companies control inventory management processes.

Managing this kind of inventory involves both logistical and financial activities, including:

  • Monitoring inventory levels across the warehouse
  • Tracking serial numbers and locations for specific materials
  • Triggering the reordering process for spare parts and materials
  • Calculating the actual cost of each spare part
  • Analyzing the costs of maintaining the inventory

2) Maintenance Planning

In most industries, preventative maintenance is planned according to the condition, performance, technical status, and remaining life of each material or final product.

By leveraging defined planners in SAP, companies can leverage available maintenance slots to add modifications or deferred items to the related work package and optimize the allocation of available resources across the enterprise.

The planning component makes it easier for companies to plan shop visits and evaluate them from a long-term perspective, including the assessment of hangar space, component availability, and work center capacity. This helps identify and eliminate bottlenecks, minimize downtime, and reduce costs across the organization.

The following applications are designed to help businesses support maintenance planning initiatives:

  • Spare Parts Stock Calculation
  • Maintenance Program Definition
  • Work Packaging and Sequencing (WPS)
  • Maintenance and Service Planning (MSP)
  • Mass Maintenance of Maintenance Plans

3) Provisioning, Procurement, and Sales

There are four main applications used to help organizations manage, maintain, and optimize their core provisioning, procurement, and sales operations:

  • Initial provisioning: Supports the selection and initial procurement of spare parts for the production of new equipment and helps customers define the data, formats, and transmission procedures needed to negotiate with contractors about the range and scale for each required spare part.
  • Order administration: Facilitates more efficient communication between customers and vendors, initiates the exchange of shipment notifications across teams, and outlines processes for placing, accepting, rejecting, amending, querying, or canceling an order.
  • Customer invoicing: Promotes electronic communication for vendors and customers and makes it easier to verify, amend, accept, or reject invoices for specific assets.
  • Procurement planning: Helps any company manage requests for price quotations, link existing quotes to the ATA central procurement database, and improve collaboration between vendors and customers.

4) Maintenance and Service Processing

The primary objective of maintenance and service processing in the aerospace and defense industry is to ensure the airworthiness of primary technical objects, including assessing individual components across the entire lifecycle and the location of each necessary material or part.

Primary components can be exchanged if they can’t be repaired in time for use, have reached the end of their lifespan, or are listed for replacement in service bulletins or airworthiness directives (SB/AD). It is also possible to swap identical components within the same aircraft rather than repairing the defective part.

Maintenance and service processing is supported by a few key applications, including:

  • Subcontracting for MRO processes
  • Component Maintenance Cockpit (CMC)
  • PM/CS orders in the SAP MRO process
  • Configuration Control Workbench
  • Logbook for maintenance processes
  • Warranty Workbench
  • Assignment of PM/CS orders to projects

Main Advantages of SAP Maintenance Repair and Operations

Here’s a closer look at the top 5 main advantages of SAP MRO for business users:

Improved Equipment Uptime:

SAP MRO helps organizations maximize equipment uptime by streamlining maintenance processes. It enables proactive maintenance scheduling, preventive maintenance, and predictive maintenance based on real-time data. This reduces unplanned downtime and ensures critical equipment remains operational, enhancing overall productivity.

Optimized Inventory Management:

SAP MRO solutions enable efficient inventory management by providing visibility into spare parts, tools, and materials required for maintenance and repair tasks. This reduces excess inventory, minimizes stockouts, and lowers carrying costs, leading to significant cost savings.

Enhanced Compliance and Safety:

SAP MRO systems help organizations maintain compliance with safety regulations and industry standards. They provide tools for tracking equipment maintenance histories, ensuring that inspections and repairs are carried out on schedule. This helps mitigate safety risks and ensures regulatory compliance, reducing the likelihood of accidents and penalties.

Data-Driven Decision-Making:

With SAP MRO, organizations can collect and analyze vast amounts of data related to equipment performance, maintenance history, and repair costs. This data-driven approach enables better decision-making by identifying trends, predicting equipment failures, and optimizing maintenance strategies. It also facilitates cost control and budgeting for maintenance operations.

Streamlined Workforce Management:

SAP MRO solutions assist in optimizing workforce management by assigning tasks efficiently, tracking labor hours, and managing service contracts and vendor relationships. This ensures that the right personnel are deployed for maintenance and repair activities, minimizing labor costs and maximizing workforce productivity.

How Can We Help?

Whether you need help implementing new SAP applications and components across your internal SAP landscape, additional support outlining plans for reactive maintenance and troubleshooting for production equipment, or just an extra hand managing work requirements to support each maintenance technician, Surety Systems is here to help.

Our senior-level, US-based SAP consultant team has you covered!

Regardless of the complexity of your organizational structure or the nature of your project needs, our expert SAP consultants have the skills and experience needed to help manage, monitor, and optimize core production and plant maintenance processes across your entire organization.

Getting Started with Us

Interested in learning where SAP solutions and our team of expert SAP consultants can fit in your organization and help improve productivity and efficiency across teams?

Contact us today for more information about our SAP consulting services!