It’s a daily challenge for commercial airlines to keep their planes in the sky and get people to their destinations. And, having parts during unscheduled maintenance (and scheduled maintenance) is paramount for non-disruption to keep customers happy and companies successful.
Following are five reasons OEMs, carriers, distributors, and internal MRO organizations and service providers are struggling in their MRO operations – and why a parts management solution may be the cure.
Reason No. 1: “Known demand.” This is usually a known challenge and involves planned or mandated maintenance and overhaul activities. The challenge here though is forecasting the when. Are you able to determine the demand by maintenance event, location, type of equipment, configuration and a plan for the needed parts?
Reason No. 2: Low spare parts availability. Making spare parts available means the parts can be installed, planes can get in the air, and passengers won’t be stuck for hours disgruntledly reading apps in the airport lounge (and ultimately causing increased costs for airlines). If you’re not calculating supply orders to optimize the use of network inventory, minimize new buy purchases, and avoid excess parts and inventories, you should be.
Reason No. 3: Balancing customer service and keeping parts inventory in check. To keep customers satisfied they need to get to their destination on time, without delay. They don’t need (and let’s be honest, don’t really want) to know the behind-the-scenes work that goes with inventory. Unfortunately, you do. Are you flawlessly executing decisions that have already been made (such as targeting stocking levels and replenishment frequencies)? This will ultimately lead to a fine-tuned inventory planning.
Reason No. 4: Maintenance and repair. Or, more specifically, repair requirements for jets of varying ages, activity levels and other factors. You need to compare forecasts and proactively respond to any changes while providing visibility of assets to item managers and planners globally or by geographic theatre, for all aircraft types – all with a global view. If you are not doing this, it could be a problem.
Reason No. 5: Excess or obsolete inventory. How can commercial airlines prepare for inventory and parts they no longer need or have in abundance to manage fleet availability? It’s not easy, but it’s doable. At the least, you should be reviewing excess parts and obsolete ones and shipping parts from a location where it’s not being used to a location where it’s needed.
If any of these reasons ring a bell, you might need a parts management solution to help you get on track. Interested in learning more? Download our whitepaper, PTC Solution Capabilities for Commercial Aviation, for insight and information on creating a robust plan for your own organization.
A proud former United States Marine, Dave Robbins has 28 years of experience in the Aerospace & Defense and Commercial Aviation industry. He has held strategy, sales, and operations leadership positions at IBM, Servigistics, and PTC, providing consultation on implementing COTS software such as ERP, IoT, supply chain planning, MRO, CRM, and service supply chains solutions. At PTC, he has led development of the company’s service supply chain, High Velocity Maintenance COTS solution, which consists of SPM, IoT, MRO, PLM, AR/VR, and S&PI. He also spearheaded a global deployment of the United States Air Force’s cloud-based enterprise service parts management solution.