Alea Iacta Est. The Die is Cast

By George E. Krauter

February 02, 2017 at 12:47 PM

When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river, circa 49 BC, he stated, “Alea lacta est!” (“The die is cast!”) meaning there is no turning back; commitment is absolute. He started a civil war in Italia! 

It has always been a dilemma for me to understand why companies continue to operate their own MRO storerooms when lack of proper MRO management is a major cause of downtime, worker inefficiency and a drain on plant reliability levels.

Biochemical companies need security so they outsource security because they are not in the security business. Tire companies outsource maintenance because they make tires; their expertise is not plant maintenance so they hire experts to do it. Universities exist to teach; why throw money into an activity that loses money? And yet they remain in the MRO business and continue to lose money that could be recovered.

Over the years, I have contemplated many reasons why companies continue to operate and own internal hardware stores (aka MRO storerooms) when hardware store management is not their business. It seems to be: Inertia. “This is the way we have always done it.” “No time to consider change. (Time consumed by emergencies caused by poor storeroom performance—the vicious circle.)” “No one available to manage change.” “Management will not invest in MRO change; we just have to live with it!” “Truth be known, we really do not know how to change for the better or change to what?”

Well, after reading about Julius Caesar and the Rubicon, I have a new idea why there is the reluctance to get out of the MRO business: “If we fail, we can’t go back to the way it was.” “If we cross the MRO Rubicon, the die is cast; if we fail, all is lost.” “What if “it” does not work?” “Who will be blamed?” “Let’s stay where we are; it’s safer.” “Let’s not cause an MRO civil war revolution.”

I will admit that sometimes a change in MRO procedures and/or MRO suppliers will produce a “civil war” in the plant; however, if the change is implemented properly and measured to the advantage of all disciplines, there will be no MRO “war.” Satisfaction will prevail and, “Beneficiae Accessae,” aka benefits will accrue.

Caesar did cross the Rubicon; he defeated Pompey in Roma and when he defeated all opposition in Greece, Spain, and Egypt, he arrived in Syria and announced “Veni. Vidi. Vici.” “I came. I saw. I conquered.” 

If companies can acquire the will to cross the MRO Rubicon, they will come to the MRO “Storm Room;” they will see the opportunity; they will conquer the existing profit drain and realize reliable plant goals.

Wonder if Julius had a storeroom with slings, arrows, and catapult parts?

 



Tags: purchasing MRO indirect Supply chain management Procurement sourcing maintenance reliable plant
Category: Blog Post

George E. Krauter

user_avatar

George Krauter, former founder and president of Industrial Systems Assoc. [I.S.A.] has retired as vice president of Synovos.

Currently, he has initiated, "George Krauter Consulting [GKC]"  for effective reliability and cost recovery for consumers  of MRO materials. George is a recognized authority on the management of the MRO supply chain and support for maintenance reliability programs. His book, "OUTSOURCING MRO...FINDING A BETTER WAY" is available from Amazon and from Reliability Web.com.

He is published in Uptime, Modern Distribution Management, and Supply and Demand Chain Executive. George has conducted seminars across North America, in Europe, and in the U.A.R. as well as a guest speaker at Temple U., Howard U., Duke, and MIT.

George is a graduate of Temple University; he lives with his wife, Joyce, in Bucks County, PA. All grand kids live within eating distance. He can be reached anytime:   georgekrauter@comcast.net.



Please add a comment

You must be logged in to leave a reply. Login »


Related Content

Data Quality and Accuracy Are Key Enablers of MRO Efficiency Gains

Dennis Bouley

Management of corporate maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) requires the tracking of thousands of SKUs and the generation of many transactions that are of low dollar value in nature. In most organizations, MRO spending amounts to less than Read More

Software Audits are Inevitable and Everyone is Responsible

Abinaya Govindarajan

No company is immune to software audits. Poor leverage with top software vendors, suppliers’ focus on audit income as a source of additional revenue, complex software contracts and licensing models, Read More

WHAT MILLENNIALS LIKE AND DISLIKE IN THEIR SUPPLY CHAIN JOBS

Marisa Brown

Millennials have an unwarranted reputation in the workforce as short-term employees always looking for a better opportunity, including in the supply chain management (SCM) work force. Read More


Supplier Profiles

Staples

Staples Advantage is the one supplier that offers all the business solutions you need, all with the expertise of a specialty vendor. Read More

Digi-Key

It started in 1972 with an idea, a new concept in distribution. Today, Digi-Key Corporation is one of the fastest-growing electronic component distributors in the World. The stimulus for this growth is Digi-Key's customer-centered business philosophy… Read More

Lunney Advisory Group

Lunney Advisory Group was founded in 2007. Our firm is not your typical consulting company. Some members of our firm are highly qualified and experienced industry executives/practitioners while others are full time or adjunct university professors.… Read More


Webcasts

What CEOs Expect Of Purchasing

Guest Contributor

Procurement and supply management leaders have a seat at the table, and management’s expectations are high. But what do CEOs really want, and is purchasing delivering on these expectations? This webcast looks at how procurement and supply management … Read More

Growing Purchasing Influence On Indirect Spending

Guest Contributor

At world-class companies, purchasing’s influence touches just about every area of spending. But, how exactly do procurement teams get to the point where other departments approach them for help with sourcing such indirect categories as human resource… Read More

Procurement-Finance Collaboration

Guest Contributor

Procurement & finance are two business functions which are often at loggerheads with each other. One reason for this is the lack of perception alignment on an important metric of procurement and finance performance - 'savings'. Read More