Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) purchases are often a significant expenditure and are essential for keeping the organization running smoothly. These consumables contribute to overhead costs and are great places to look when trying to find savings. IBISWorld’s extensive MRO research helps uncover price trends and areas ideal for negotiation.
This graphic shows next year’s average forecast price change for the MRO category as a whole, along with a selection of specific sub - categories of MRO products and services. Click into each sub - category to see a buying guide that will get you up to speed quickly on the product or service.
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Electrical Contracting Services
Facility Maintenance & Repair Services
Inventory Management Software
MRO Inventory Management Services
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Firms in the maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) category have benefited from growing demand for their services. Because barriers to entry are low in this category, the number of service providers expands along with macroeconomic trends, resulting in a highly competitive marketplace. Increasing construction activity and growth in the number of businesses has expanded the pool of customers requiring MRO services. As new office buildings, housing complexes and businesses are erected, MRO service providers are contracted to maintain the facilities of these new buildings. Increasing demand, in addition to moderately specialized services, minimal substitutes and moderate switching costs, has been pressuring service prices upward, establishing a more difficult purchasing process for buyers.
- Switching costs are moderate to high across a majority of the MRO category
- Vendors are typically under contract for their services making switching more expensive
Key Takeaway: Moderate switching costs reduce a buyer’s ability to move from one supplier to another. Vendor’s services are typically vital to the daily operations. Because down-time in operations can be costly, buyers are advised to spend significant time and resources evaluating suppliers through their prior experience and references before signing a contract.
- Specialization is moderate for the average vendor in the MRO category
- Many service providers tailor solutions specifically to the needs of the buyer
Key Takeaway: Moderate specialization increases the difficulty of effectively comparing suppliers within the marketplace. This creates added difficulty in the procurement process because many projects have differing levels of technical difficulty and scope. Because their technical solutions must be implemented before proper assessment, buyers should find suppliers with past experience that matches the requirements of the proposed contract.
- MRO services are necessary to keep business processes running consistently
- Hiring in-house technicians often results in higher overall costs for small to mid-size companies
Key Takeaway: Buyers have difficulty leveraging substitute services because of the importance and specialization of MRO services for daily operations. Buyers should focus on using the large pool of service providers as leverage during the negotiating process.
In the next three years, IBISWorld projects that prices for MRO services will continue to rise behind increasing construction activity and growth in corporate profit. MRO services will be in higher demand due to expansion in the pool of potential customers. Price growth will be tempered, somewhat, by growing competition in the market from new entrants. With minimal barriers to entry in this sector, new service providers will attempt to grab market share by undercutting service rates. However, many market conditions, such as specialization, the availability of substitutes and switching costs, are forecast to remain unfavorable to buyers. Furthermore, because these operations are vital for many buyers, only thoroughly vetted suppliers will find significant business. Due to these poor market conditions, buyers are not forecast to gain additional negotiating leverage in the future period. As a result, buyers should look to enter into service contracts sooner rather than later due to the growing rates within the market.