Managing maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) and safety products


E-tradeway reviewed the process for issuing and replenishing essential MRO and Safety products at a large maintenance and repair organisation. We also looked at the associated administration.


Under the existing system, the products were stored in double-door cupboards to which all technicians on the site had open access. A supplier had to physically check the cupboard stock and replenish them accordingly.

The only records available showed the amount of the product used but the company could not see whether it had been assigned to or used by a specific department or project.

Delivery notes and invoices were supplied on a total shipment basis and were difficult to match to departments or projects.


We asked the customer to identify the core product range, and then tested whether the range was suitable for issue from an automated dispenser. We identified 63 individual items that made up the majority of the MRO and Safety product requirements.

Through further analysis of this range, we determined that it could be sub-divided into two different ranges for specific areas in the operation.

We also questioned whether it was necessary for all technicians to have access to products, and proposed that only team leaders and supervisors should be given access to the stock.

Once the company accepted our proposal, we proceeded to plan how three dispensers would be used to manage MRO and Safety product stock. We situated one machine in one operating area and two machines in another.

Benefits & outcomes

  • The results of this implementation have been outstanding.
  • Items are now replenished based on issues from each machine.
  • As only team leaders and supervisors can issue items, there is complete control over which items are taken and where they are used.
  • This led to a 60% reduction in item usage during the initial three-month trial.
  • There has been no loss in production or activity in either of the two centres where the machines were installed.
  • Replenishment is based on activity reports from each machine, which are fed to the participating product supplier – this has significantly reduced administration.
  • Monthly invoices can be easily cross-referenced to match each machine's replenishment reports.
  • All stock activity is available 24/7 via e-Tradeway's secure servers.
  • Over time, the company will be able to compare and assess product volumes and usage over similar activity periods.




MRO consumables