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MRO sourcing goes global
Avery, Susan. Purchasing; Boston Vol. 138, Iss. 2,  (Feb 12, 2009): 48-52.

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Purchasing operations at global companies are extending sourcing strategy to other regions of the world.

The trick is finding suppliers able to meet their rigorous standards.

On the face of it, developing and deploying sourcing strategy for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO)

goods and services for a company with facilities located all over the world appears complex.

But, when you get right to the heart of it, it’s relatively simple, says Scott Singer, CPO at Rio Tinto in

Brisbane, Australia, explaining that setting strategy for a global buy is not much different from the approach

a centralized sourcing operation takes anywhere in the world. “You want a superior unit price, a fair and

reasonable mark up and a fulfillment model that provides the service you need,” he says.

Singer, a member of Purchasing’s editorial advisory board who was with United Technologies Corp. when it

received the magazine’s Medal of Professional Excellence in 2006, is a year into his new post at the global

mining company and is working to hone its sourcing strategy.

While already sourcing some MRO goods globally, he and his team are considering taking more of an

integrated supply or outsourcing approach to the buy. UTC, Intel and other global companies have success

with integrated supply models, where they hire distributors or other companies to take over the purchasing

process, integrating the provider’s technology with their own.

MRO buyers at other companies with worldwide operations are taking different tacts and are equally

successful. Some deploy sourcing strategies that are global, regional, national or local with industrial

distributors that serve customers from a base in North America and/or other regions. Others negotiate

pricing agreements with global manufacturers and buy through distributors for those manufacturers.

8/17/22, 6:42 PM MRO sourcing goes global – ProQuest 2/2

For the most part, these buyers select sourcing strategy for MRO based largely on requirements of internal

customers. However, supplier readiness and capability also play an important role in the direction the buyers

choose to pursue.

“It starts with taking a hard look at aggregating the spend and consolidating sources of supply,” says Peter

Torrenti, regional vice president at Quadrem North America in Chicago. Once buyers take those first steps

they need to make sure suppliers can meet their requirements regardless of where they are located.

From his…

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