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4 Budget-Friendly Ways MRO Teams Can Work More Efficiently

A roundup of some easy ways to simplify everyday tasks.

Shurtape Duck Pro Pc618 Red Labeling
Shurtape Technologies, LLC

Commercial and industrial facilities are complex environments where organization and efficiency are essential in meeting production goals and maintaining schedules. Facilities that run smoothly are those with Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) teams that recognize small changes in daily tasks can have a big impact on the larger operation.

Effective MRO teams know that gaining efficiency doesn’t always require a big investment in technology or tools. Some of the best solutions are low-cost or no-cost, and all that’s required is a fresh perspective on how to apply existing resources to accomplish tasks in new and different ways.

To illustrate the kinds of inexpensive changes MRO teams can implement to gain such efficiencies, here’s a quick roundup of some easy ways to simplify everyday tasks.

Shurtape Duck Pro Pc9 Silver BundlingShurtape Technologies, LLC

1. Reach for a Roll

Masking tape and duct tape are great examples of ubiquitous MRO tools — old toolbox standbys that are low cost and high value, with many uses for organizing, optimizing and repairing. Shurtape Technologies is a longstanding manufacturer of tapes and adhesive products, and the company’s masking and duct tapes are well known for their reliability and consistency.

PC 9S Duck Pro by Shurtape Contractor Grade, Co-Extruded Cloth Duct Tape, for example, features aggressive adhesive and cold temperature performance for sealing, seaming, repairing and holding applications as well as waterproofing tasks. MRO pros can also opt for a colored version like PC 9C Duck Pro by Shurtape Duct Tape. This product comes in 11 different colors, making it ideal for color-coding tools, bins and supplies and for splicing applications.

If you need a solution for more intense tasks, look for a duct tape like PC 657 Duck Pro by Shurtape Duct Tape. This grade can be used for protection during sandblasting and media blasting and is designed for applications that require high tack and exceptional holding power. It can also withstand extreme temperature fluctuations and has a waterproof backing.

MRO teams can use masking and duct tapes in a variety of ways to make everyday tasks more efficient. Here are a few more examples:

  • Directing traffic flow: Masking tape offers an easy, inexpensive way to add arrows on floors or walls or affix temporary signage to direct personnel around safety hazards in a work area. For outdoor signage, switch to duct tape, which will stick to rougher surfaces and withstand weather.
  • Bundling cords: To keep electrical cords or other wires organized and neatly stored, wind them up and wrap masking tape around the center. For hanging cords, use masking tape to secure them to nearby objects so they don’t dangle and disrupt operations or create a safety concern.
  • Bundling supplies: From lumber to PVC piping, MRO work is full of loose supplies that need to be transported around a work area. Use duct tape to quickly wrangle it all and get it from point A to point B.
  • Keeping track of tiny objects: For easy-to-lose hardware, place tiny parts directly onto the adhesive side of the tape, so they don’t roll away or get lost.
  • Signaling equipment in need of repair: To help technicians and equipment operators quickly spot a part in need of repair, use colored masking tape on the area to call it out.

Shurtape Repair ChecklistShurtape Technologies, LLC

2. Download Your Organizational Skills

Google, Microsoft and many other software companies offer free, downloadable apps that can get you organized in no time. Task and checklist tools allow you to create your own custom to-do lists and check off items as you complete them right from your phone or tablet.

Checklist tools can also be used to manage inventory lists, organize personnel assignments and track whatever else you need to get accomplished. Even better is that some apps also allow you to sync and share checklists across multiple devices and create alerts for when select tasks are due, so you can organize teams and divide tasks while keeping everyone on the same page.

Shurtape Supply ReorderShurtape Technologies, LLC

3. Let Suppliers Help Manage Inventory

With so many digital tools available, it’s now much simpler to monitor inventory levels than it used to be. If your company hasn’t invested in these types of tools yet, you may still be able to take advantage of the technology through your suppliers.

Some vendors offer the option to monitor the items that they supply and replenish those items when supplies run low. This removes the burden of tracking some or all of your inventory and helps ensure you always have what you need on hand.

Shurtape MaintenanceShurtape Technologies, LLC

4. Take Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

Use your phone or tablet camera to take photos of maintenance and repair jobs that are in progress. You can share the photos to indicate where you left off, and the next shift can quickly get up to speed without backtracking or duplicating effort and wasting valuable time.

Another efficient way to use maintenance and repair photos (or videos) is to train new hires. Take step-by-step photos or videos and use them to create instructions that help new personnel avoid mistakes while learning your processes. You can also illustrate the tips or tricks that you use to care for a piece of equipment.

Small Changes, Big Impact

These are just a few examples of where and how MRO teams can add value without adding major expenses. By opening a dialogue with your team and inviting them to share ideas on how to perform tasks more efficiently, you’re sure to uncover many more of your own.

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