MRO Goes Digital: Facility Management Trends for the New Year

The maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) industry is booming, with even more growth on the horizon: Between 2023 and 2028, the market is forecasted to expand at a rate of 2.3%, catapulting the total market value from $685.5 billion to $787.2 billion by 2026.

A major catalyst driving this growth is the rapid digitization occurring across the MRO and facility management (FM) space. Long considered a manual, analog process, MRO is increasingly becoming a digital-first industry as FM leaders adopt technologies like IoT, sensors and smart equipment. Once you examine the benefits MRO tech has to offer—enhanced efficiency, improved workflows, increased agility and flexibility, and the relative ease of implementation—it becomes clear that these technologies have the power to transform your facilities.

Here are a few of the trends we’re seeing take over the MRO sector and how you can leverage them to improve performance.

BlogGraphic.MROGoesDigital-1-1-300x225Data, Data Everywhere

Many business and facility leaders find themselves grappling with a glut of data and digital information, thanks in part to the increased number of connected devices being used across the workforce. In MRO, this includes smart equipment outfitted with sensors that relay information about an asset’s maintenance needs and overall health. Armed with this data, facility managers and operations leaders are able to proactively service equipment before a breakdown occurs, saving businesses considerable time, money and resources.

While data often uncovers useful insights that can be incorporated into your MRO strategy, it can be overwhelming if you don’t have a way to decipher and optimize it. That’s where automation and integration come in.

Automation and Integration

Everything from performance reports to facility supply orders can be automated. Because each business, and by extension, each MRO function, is different, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to automation or integration—some organizations may choose to automate their work order processes, while others may focus more on invoice automation when submitting payments to vendor partners or contractors.

Integration is another trend that will continue to grow over the coming year, especially for tech-savvy organizations seeking ways to aggregate their data. The goal of integration is to manage different FM data streams and house them under one roof, making it easier to turn the information into actionable business insights.

Predictive Maintenance > Preventive Maintenance

If you’re in the MRO industry, you’ve heard of preventive maintenance, which IBM defines as “the act of performing regularly scheduled maintenance activities to help prevent unexpected failures in the future.” But what about predictive maintenance?

Predictive maintenance involves continuously monitoring assets and equipment in order to predict when a failure will occur. Once a potential issue has been identified, facility managers can take preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of a failure or breakdown.

According to the Department of Energy’s Federal Management Program, predictive maintenance can save roughly 8-11% more than preventive maintenance alone, and as much as 40% more than reactive maintenance. With that amount of savings on the line, there’s no doubt predictive maintenance—and the artificial intelligence (AI), automation and IoT tools needed to enable it—will continue to gain momentum in MRO and facility management.

“Going digital” means different things to different organizations, and getting started can feel like a daunting task—but you don’t have to go it alone. Reach out to a Mac Papers + Packaging Facility Supply specialist today for more information.