A maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) buyer is responsible for the preparation and issuance of purchase orders for products and services that are used to maintain and fix broken machines. For example, in a factory, machines gradually break down, and an MRO buyer is responsible for getting the materials needed to fix the machines. The job requires regular interaction with the factory staff to know what supplies are required, although the majority of the job is done in solitude and on the computer.
Specifically, the MRO buyer research quotes for maintenance products and negotiate pricing with vendors. The ultimate goal for the MRO buyer is to reduce the cost of maintaining existing equipment, so negotiating with vendors for bulk discounts and finding the lowest-cost materials within quality standards is critical for the buyer's success. MRO buyers generally work full time in an office setting; however, some buyers perform their research after hours because most of the day is spent interacting with potential suppliers during regular business hours.
A bachelor’s degree in business or a related field may be required or preferred for this position. However, a postsecondary degree may not be required and employers may provide on-the-job training. Since most of the job requires interacting with potential suppliers, excellent communication skills are necessary; sound research skills are generally needed as well.
Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) Buyer Tasks
- Assess purchase orders for accuracy and compliance with regulations.
- Receive price quotes from vendors, compare quotes against requirements and the budget, and purchase orders via fax or computer.
- Manage all aspects of purchasing and distribution while taking into account cost-effective solutions.
- Communicate with the client, foster a team atmosphere, and report on progress.