What Is MRO? Definition, Importance, Types [The Full Guide]

What Is MRO? Definition, Importance, Types [The Full Guide]

Those who have not yet applied the concept to their operations will ask themselves a fundamental question: What is MRO? Maintenance, repair and operations, or MRO, is a powerful term that encompasses a range of steps and activities carried out in an industrial environment.

It is powerful because, when carried out correctly, it can lead to incredible improvements, better productivity and quality of output, greater efficiency and less costly downtime. Despite all of these benefits, many in the industry still do not understand or manage MRO effectively.

Hence, it’s essential to discover MRO’s meaning in manufacturing, its importance, types and ways to improve it. In this article, that’s exactly what we cover. Let’s explore this topic in more detail together.

What Is MRO? Definition, Importance, Types [The Full Guide]

What Is MRO?

In order to define MRO, we have to look at the answer to the question: What does MRO stand for in manufacturing? In short, MRO stands for maintenance, repair & operations. This is a group of activities that’s critical to any manufacturing operation in an industrial environment.

It encompasses costs, tools, equipment, facilities, spare parts and inventory, management, warehousing and vendor management. In addition to other factors that together constitute the entire MRO process, these help organisations achieve their business objectives.

What is MRO in manufacturing? To answer this, it’s essential to consider the term as an overarching concept that deals with separate activities within a manufacturing plant that, when combined and implemented optimally, can enhance production efficiency.

Thus, an MRO definition includes all the elements of a manufacturing or industrial facility, ranging from the infrastructure to the tools, equipment and spare parts, which, when managed optimally, will boost organisational capacity and performance for the maximum benefit of the business.

This can fall within the food and beverage, retail, furniture manufacturing, glass manufacturing, and other industries that use equipment and machines to create products for sale in a business-to-business or business-to-consumer setting.

What Are the Different Types of MRO?

With MRO, manufacturing becomes a seamless and streamlined process. However, MRO is quite a broad category that is often applied to different areas of business operations, from maintenance and repair of the plant’s physical infrastructure to tooling and consumables.

In short, four main types of MRO are utilised in various business operations. Each of these will be discussed in more detail below.

Infrastructure Maintenance and Repair

When it comes to MRO, maintenance incorporates infrastructure maintenance and repair. Infrastructure refers to the land and buildings that belong to the business. It can also include aspects such as roofing repairs, HVAC maintenance, repairs to damaged walls, doors or cracks in buildings or warehouses, etc. In addition to this, infrastructure repair and maintenance can include maintaining gardens and landscaping, pathways and footpaths and other related areas that are fixed and immovable in nature but that still require upkeep.

Production Equipment Repair and Maintenance

A second type of MRO deals with production equipment repair and maintenance. However, what is MRO equipment? MRO equipment is the bulk of the mechanical infrastructure on the plant premises, or, in other words, the machinery and equipment that are the foundation of the facility’s production works. In short, these machines can include conveyor belts, large pieces of machinery with wheels and cogs, specialised equipment that facilitates production and others.

Material Handling Equipment Maintenance

Material handling equipment maintenance refers to the maintenance of equipment that handles finished output from primary production processes. This can include forklifts, pallet positioners, bulk containers, jacks, power robotics, and others.

This machinery is often used for a dual purpose. Firstly, it can transport raw materials to production lines for further refinement. Secondly, it can transport the finished products to trucks, storage facilities and shipping docks for processing and delivery to third parties or to end customers, depending on the organisation's suppliers and supply chain. As such, MRO supply chain management becomes a faster and more efficient process.

Tooling and Consumables

Much as the name suggests, this one is a category of MRO types, defined by tools and consumable materials. These are essential in the production process and having the right stock levels is critical. However, they are not directly involved in the manufacturing of the finished goods. Examples may include powered hand tools, manual hand tools, cutting bits, clamps and joining tools, adhesives and glues, sandpaper, welding or soldering supplies, personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, office supplies, etc.

How to Improve MRO Efficiency

Having looked at the benefits and types of MRO, it becomes clear that MRO efficiencies can be achieved by following a few industry best practices for MRO inventory management. In short, they are:

Rethink MRO Procurement

Any type of procurement process has financial implications. That’s why you need your MRO and MRO items to be as efficient as possible to ensure that there are no costly financial leaks in your organisation. It’s critical to use procurement software such as a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) to help you streamline your procurement efforts and keep your inventory in check. What is more, a CMMS can help manage work orders and work flows, schedule preventive maintenance and repair tasks and run overall operations as smoothly as possible.

Optimise MRO Workflows

Optimising MRO workflows is the goal that you constantly need to strive for. Often, this will require you to make decisions driven by data for your production operations to be as seamless as possible. With this in mind, a CMMS is a highly useful and powerful tool that can yield reports and analytics, in addition to creating seamless work flows that ensure preventive maintenance operations are highly efficient to your organisation’s advantage.

Choose the Right Software and Tools

Lastly, choosing the right software and tools is a must. However, how does one make such a decision? Often, organisations believe that the most cost-effective alternative is the best route to take. On the contrary, price should only be one deciding factor in choosing your CMMS software. Other criteria include choosing a CMMS that offers crucial features, such as:

  • Work order management
  • Preventive maintenance scheduling
  • Inventory management
  • Handling emergency repairs
  • Ability to be mobile and receive smart notifications
  • Reporting and analytics

MRO in Manufacturing With Fabrico’s Maintenance Management System


Using an MRO system requires a deeper understanding of the question: What is industrial MRO? Industrial MRO is specific to industrial facilities where production at a manufacturing plant is the primary part of business operations. In order to achieve optimal MRO efficiency, it’s essential to pair this with a CMMS.

When choosing the right inventory management software, it’s essential to choose the right tool. In this regard, Fabrico’s CMMS is an outstanding and powerful solution that can help you manage MRO inventory, improve maintenance, handle emergency repairs, assign work orders, and track inventory as well as offer you data and analytics to make data-driven decisions.

It’s time to put Fabrico’s CMMS to use at your organisation for greater efficiency and streamlined production processes. Try the free plan by clicking here.


In this article, we’ve attempted to answer the questions: What is an MRO and what does MRO mean in manufacturing? We’ve also highlighted some of the key benefits, types of MRO and best practices you can follow to ensure your production facility thrives.

Understanding MRO for these types of plants is essential. However, these practices and activities are best paired when done in conjunction with CMMS software. Remember to create an MRO strategy specific to your business needs and engage in continuous monitoring for cost-effectiveness.

We encourage you to explore the different MRO solutions on the market and we are here to help address any questions you may have. Simply get in touch with us today!

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