Implementation and Use of MRO Naming Standards

With all the discussion focusing on Master Data Management and Data Quality, I always come back to these questions: How is the data structured and how is the accuracy and content completeness measured? In our business of managing the coding and verification of items and spare part information needed to keep manufacturing plants running, a structured schema of naming conventions (class), descriptive attribute standardization (properties) and verification at the sources of manufacture (coding @ source) is “key” to quality and completeness measurement. We are managing the ECCMA eOTD for the Automotive Industry Content Standards Council (AICSC) focusing on MRO naming definitions which is the foundation to a spare part description, just as a table of contents is the foundation of a text book.

The first step is to develop the Identification Guide (IG) in order to baseline the properties needed to best describe the class. For example, let’s take the class of SCREW, SHOULDER and the properties TYPE, MATERIAL, FINISH, THREAD SIZE, DRIVE SIZE, SHOULDER DIAMETER, SHOULDER LENGTH, THREAD LENGTH, HEAD DIAMETER, HEAD HEIGHT, SHOULDER LENGTH TOLERANCE, MINIMUM TENSILE STRENGTH, CLASS, HARDNESS RATING and PACKAGE QUANTITY. The IG also provides the information needed for our analysts to acquire properties and our applications to sequence the properties within the short and long descriptions that are built:

SCREW,SHOULDER – | TYPE: HEX HEAD | MATERIAL: 18-8 STAINLESS STEEL | FINISH: PLAIN | HEAD STYLE: HEX | THREAD SIZE: 3/8-16 INCHES | DRIVE SIZE: 3/4 INCHES | SHOULDER DIAMETER: 1/2 INCHES | SHOULDER LENGTH: 2-1/2 INCHES | THREAD LENGTH: 3/4 INCHES | HEAD DIAMETER: 3/4 INCHES | HEAD HEIGHT: 1/4 INCHES | SHOULDER LENGTH TOLERANCE: ±0.005 INCHES | MINIMUM TENSILE STRENGTH: 80.000 POUND-FORCE PER SQUARE INCH | CLASS: 2A | HARDNESS RATING: B85 TO B95 ROCKWELL A | PACKAGE QUANTITY: 2

Each time an item is submitted for coding or processing the item is imported into a master database. Through intervention by our data analysts, the item navigates its way through a number of checkpoints including an auto-suggest to propose a class. The class and properties via the IG are the requirements our coding analysts use to verify the accuracy of the information submitted, to verify the completeness and to acquire the additional information needed to enhance and build an item or spare part description for our clients to base real business decisions.

The implementation of the eOTD is a two process scenario when working with our clients. First, the legacy data is mapped to the class, the item data is profiled, cleansed and enhanced to meet the requirements of eOTD IG, ensuring the client’s data quality goals are met. The updated item information needs to be applied to existing client item data. It is critical that all changes to data be tracked and logged. A properly planned and executed update to legacy ERP and CMMS systems should be initiated to incorporate the enhanced and corrected item information into the user facing systems. This is an extremely critical step as the downstream information flow will affect systems and uses such as inventory re-distribution, purchasing and contract management, engineering bills of materials and maintenance schedules. A thorough and complete mapping of data through the enterprise should be used to understand data flow across all business units. The mapping should include data entry points and data use points through all departments which set up all of the cost saving pay points as the data processing is streamlined.

The second process is an on-going data maintenance plan for new items that are introduced into the organization. This process should start at the introduction of item information into the system. All items and spare part information should be verified with the manufacturer and classified to the eOTD before setup or use in any system. The length of time the coding process requires is a critical element as the item or spare part information should be as complete as possible while at the same time be ready and waiting for the buyer to put the item on a contact or a maintenance employee to setup the tasking information in the CMMS for a piece of equipment. The only requirement for the employees who use the information after its initial entry into the system is to perform the actual requirement of their job and not to decipher a cryptic unstructured description.

If the items are pre-processed using the eOTD and the associated ISO standards, every item and spare part will be structured and standardized. The engineering, purchasing and maintenance departments will focus on the core of their day to day specialized responsibilities instead of searching for parts or dealing with trying to purchase items that a supplier does not recognize or have to acquire the missing information.

We all agree on some of the basic benefits both in process and cost such as reducing inventory with the identification of duplicate items, facilitation of inventory sharing and internal purchasing programs, reduced employee time searching for parts, common spare part usage strategies, reduced downtime in manufacturing equipment due to lack of information availability and ability to manage using a just in-time inventory model. The eOTD and its Identification guides are the building blocks and the roadmap to achieving structured and accurate data that can be reliably used to base real world decisions.

For more information on the eOTD please visit www.eccma.org.

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One Response to “Implementation and Use of MRO Naming Standards”

  1. Hi Jackie,

    This is a great article that highlights many of the issues our members face with data quality. Would you mind if I shared it with them at http://www.openmethodology.org? We would love for you to contribute directly if you have the time.

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