Everyone likes thinking about having their parts incorporated into a shiny new design or installation.  It’s always exciting to think about the beginning of a project or the launch of a new product.  However, you may be overlooking a larger opportunity.

At some point your parts, and those of your competitors, will need to be repaired or replaced.  Have you ever considered who does that work?  Probably not.  Allow me to introduce you to the MRO manager.

MRO Managers (Maintenance, Repair & Operations)

As they are responsible for the continuous operation of all machinery and systems necessary for a manufacturing facility, MRO managers live two lives.  The first consists of planned shut downs for maintenance and/or upgrades to the systems.

This means they meticulously predict the lifecycles of all of the components of a system.  Replacement parts are ordered early for larger events, and consumable products are kept on hand to be replaced on a more regular basis.

Although the “down time” is scheduled, it still means that there can be no productivity during the hours of lost operation.  The MROs second life is pure chaos.  When a system fails in the middle of a production run, the MRO manager is tasked with diagnosing the problem, finding the solution, getting the right parts to do the repair, and getting the business back up and running as quickly as possible. The more time it takes, the more money the company loses.

Stress Created By

The MRO manager is on call 24/7 for potential problems.  This individual knows that despite the best planning possible, something can and will fail.  When that happens the responsibility will fall on them to save the day.


There is no surviving this job without a tough, can-do personality. They are problem solvers that thrive under pressure and will not crack.

Typical Day

While there is no typical day, it can consist of sourcing replacement parts at a computer, reviewing maintenance records, inspecting the systems for wear or standing knee deep in water while trying to get a look at the fitting that has failed in a piping system.

Desired Content

The MRO team appreciates installation guides, product maintenance bulletins, lifecycle expectation charts, troubleshooting guides, product specifications, and emergency delivery information.

Influence on Buying Process

Acting as a combination engineer and procurement manager, they hold all of the cards. They are fiercely loyal to those that help them during emergency situations.

Taking the time to produce content for MRO managers and trying to help them in their darkest hour can pay huge dividends over time.  So, please don’t forget the unsung heroes that make sure your power stays on, the material for your clothes are woven correctly, and your beer gets bottled in time for a warm summer day.

If your products or services are appropriate for the MRO market, they are probably applicable for Design Engineers and Procurement Managers as well.  Learn more about the 3 most influential personas in the industrial buying process in our free guide below!

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Originally published Jun 6, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated November 02 2023


Buyer Personas