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Study of MRO supply Chain


A Study of MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Operating Supplies)
Supply Chain for Pulp and Paper Mills

Research Theme: Enterprise Effectiveness

Project Objective Statement: To understand and prescribe initiatives to improve the maintenance, repair, and operating supplies (MRO) portion of paper and pulp mill supply chains.

Project summary:

Firms are increasingly recognizing that the effective management of supply chains is a primary driver of value creation and long-term performance. Many industry experts argue that Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a critical business issue in the pulp and paper industry that offers tremendous potential for improving customer satisfaction, lowering operating costs, reducing inventory investments, and improving fixed asset utilization. Current SCM approaches and initiatives in the pulp and paper industry have significant gaps. For example, as a result of the fierce competitive environment, significant pressure has been placed on suppliers to cut costs. In response, some suppliers are reducing their investments in research and development, equipment upgrades, and quality improvement initiatives. Needless to say, these supplier actions may have a detrimental impact on the long-term performance of the pulp and paper industry.

The primary objective of our proposed research is to understand and study the key characteristics of the supply chain for paper and pulp mills that deals with maintenance, repair, and operating supplies (MRO). More specifically, in the context of the MRO supply chain for paper mills, we propose the following: (i) Develop an in-depth understanding of current practices concerning the MRO supply chain, (ii) Collect information on MRO supply chain performance, (iii) Rigorously analyze this information in order to identify the critical drivers of performance, and (iv) Identify specific initiatives providing the greatest opportunity to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of MRO supply chain performance; estimate the bottom-line impact of these initiatives; and suggest approaches to successfully implement key initiatives. Our research approach will be based on data collected from field site visits, a comprehensive mail survey, and on secondary sources of information.


Prof. Soumen Ghosh, Georgia Tech College of Management, Georgia Institute of Technology

Tel: 404 894-4927


Planned Duration: 2 years; started in Fall 2001


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