Unforced Errors…Unforced Costs

By George E. Krauter

May 22, 2017 at 5:26 PM

Unforced Errors Tennis Ball.jpgIn the world of sports, reference is made to unforced errors that add to the reasons for losses.

In tennis, an unforced error occurs when a ball SHOULD be returned to an opponent. However, when it is hit into the net or out of bounds, it is considered unforced. When a ball is hit in bounds by an opponent and not able to be returned because of the quality of the shot or if it is a service ace, it is not considered an unforced error. Unforced errors are tracked in tennis, squash, and sometimes in a baseball reference and has become a political metaphor: “Unforced Errors from Tennis to Politics” (a Wall Street Journal headline). I even heard the term referred to during a PGA golf tournament; however, I cannot see how a golfer can experience an unforced error when there is no opponent returning a ball to be hit. A bad shot is an error made by the golfer; it is not unforced.

Companies are continually looking for ways to cut costs. If a known cost exists and the company continues to accept the existence of that cost without doing anything about it when there ARE corrections that can be made, is that an unforced error? Or is it an unforced assumption of cost?

The function of internal maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) distribution, the MRO storeroom, is an unforced cost a company assumes because it recognizes the negative existence of the cost on profit drain, but does not take steps to correct the situation. Any company large enough to have an MRO storeroom is assuming unnecessary costs that can be recovered. The operation of MRO distribution is a profit drag; if a function in the management of the plant lost money, it would be changed or eliminated. Getting parts to maintenance when needed is critical in achieving a reliable plant. When a company operates its own storeroom, it is not recognizing alternatives that can change the unforced cost into a profit contributor. This unforced cost condition continues to exist in most companies.

The expert MRO storeroom company brings Master Data Leadership, connected EAM / CMMS technology, asset reliability engineering, and a profitable distribution of the correct part in the quantity needed on time. 

Unforced costs go away.

Tags: master data MRO distribution MRO storeroom
Category: Blog Post

George E. Krauter


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


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


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


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