Messy MRO Data Is Toxic For Everyone

Is there anything worse than a toxic coworker? They kill morale instantly and bring everyone down. One bad apple can destroy workflow quickly.

Toxic MRO data can do the same thing. It can negatively impact every aspect of operations.

Toxic MRO Data can…

  • Make parts hard to find
  • Extend equipment downtime
  • Create Maintenance inefficiencies
  • Reduce wrench time
  • Make orders confusing and complicated
  • Create conflicting and misleading inventory valuations
  • And make optimizing supply chain expenses nearly impossible

Your MRO materials data should drive maintenance efficiency, minimize supply chain costs, and reduce unplanned equipment downtime. Not the other way around.

Take a closer look at the example below of toxic MRO materials data:

Toxic MRO data characteristics…

  • Have multiple codes and names for identical inventory
  • Contains unsegmented data (such as lacking UNSPSC Classification and Commodity Codes)
  • Use manufacturer part numbers as their primary inventory code
  • Non-standardized manufacturer names & inconsistent descriptions
  • Contains data in the wrong fields and columns


Quality MRO Materials Data

Correctly managed MRO data is the opposite.

Excellent MRO data characteristics:

  • Is consistent
  • Uses standardized naming
  • Includes segmentation and classification of the data
  • Utilizes dumb and sequential part numbers as the key identifier
  • Ensures data is in the correct field


Below is an example of clean MRO materials data:

Note: The descriptions follow a Standard Modifier Dictionary (SMD) approach, an industry standard for MRO descriptive data.


Take Control of Your MRO Data

Creating and maintaining excellent MRO materials data is not accidental. It begins with intent.

The first step in the process is to develop and document your standards. This means building an MRO material master framework (i.e., Model) of the “future state.” Identifying naming conventions, classification systems, and business processes around catalog entry and submission helps establish what the data should look like, the future state. It also helps determine how the data will be managed.   

Fixing a broken system is significantly more challenging than implementing an efficient model from the start. Establishing business rules and conventions upfront will save you many data headaches later.

No one should let toxicity ruin their organization, and toxic MRO materials data are insupportable in an efficient workplace.

The best MRO materials data consistently:

  • Facilitates hassle-free and quick part finding
  • Keeps the EAM system easy and quick
  • Simplifies Bill of Material (BOM) development
  • Optimizes order reports for real-time purchase analysis
  • Significantly reduces duplicate inventory errors


We like to say, “the dough is in MRO.” An actionable MRO material master model from our Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Library™ may be a significant benefit to your organization. Our EAM Library contains the tools, standards, and resources that can accelerate your improvement initiative and help you develop and sustain high-quality MRO data and business processes.

You’re closer than you think to significantly reducing MRO supply chain expenses and improving part availability. Take control today and download complementary MRO data standards from our EAM Library™.