3 Service Parts Management Best Practices from the A&D Sector

Written By: General Howard Brent Baker

The aerospace & defense (A&D) industry uses sophisticated service parts management solutions to manage their dynamic, global operations. With parts that are quite literally on the move at all times, A&D organizations cannot rely on outdated ERPs, or worse, a series of spreadsheets to manage their global theater of service locations and thousands of parts.

What A&D best practices can you apply to your service parts management strategy?

1. See your supply chain as a whole

When you’re tasked with managing dozens of service locations and service parts depots, each with its own targets, constraints, and unique challenges, you may manage each location as if it functioned independently from the others. In reality, service locations operate both independently and as a network.

Availability of parts in each location, the ability to ship parts conveniently when needed, and viewing location dependencies requires having a 30,000-foot view of your supply chain. A service parts management strategy that is sustainable and profitable pays attention to how locations work as a series of echelons. If your part availability depends on multiple vendors, having a multi-echelon optimization capability is essential to forecasting needs and making sure you have the right part available at the right time and the right place.

2. Find a partner to deliver immediate value

If you’re considering overhauling your service parts management system, perhaps evolving past your legacy ERP or other solution, you might ask yourself whether to build your own in-house solution or work with a vendor. Building a solution in-house may give you more control, but it can take years to build, deploy, and achieve value. Partnering with an expert vendor knowledgeable of how your service parts supply chain impacts your operations allows you to use an out-of-the-box solution tailored to support your business objectives.

Service Parts Management for Defense Agencies

3. Manage outcomes, not parts

Because you are tasked with managing service parts, it’s tempting to fall back on tried-and-true success metrics like fill-rates, on-shelf availability, and even inventory turns and costs. But your inventory is there to support a purpose—yours or your customers’ asset or equipment uptime. Managing availability of parts without an eye on how these affect equipment uptime is only solving half of your business problem. In fact, it’s all of your business problem because when equipment is down, the loss of productivity possibly cancels out the cost savings from your depot’s 97% fill-rate.

By adopting these best practices from A&D, you can bring the power of the Internet of Things and your supply chain to work, providing tremendous value to your organization, driving revenues, safeguarding margins, and providing superior customer service. Are you ready for a holistic service parts management solution? Here’s how to talk to your cross-functional team.

Tags:
  • Service & Parts

About the Author

General Howard Brent Baker

Major General H. Brent Baker, (Retired) VP Worldwide Federal Aerospace and Defense

In his role at PTC, Maj. Gen. H. Brent Baker Sr. (Retired) is responsible for strategic planning and business development in the worldwide FA&D market vertical with a specific focus on gaining first-to-market competitive advantage in the adoption of technology and smart, connected enterprise solutions.

General Baker was most recently Vice Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The command employs some 80,000 people and manages $60 billion annually in research, development, test and evaluation, while providing the acquisition management services and logistics support required to develop, procure and sustain Air Force weapon systems.

He also directed policy and procedures affecting AFMC aircraft maintenance, munitions, supply, logistics plans, transportation and packaging methods, and logistics data systems. Finally, as the staff lead for logistics and life cycle sustainment issues, General Baker planned and coordinated product support and acquisition logistics for fielded and emerging Air Force weapon systems.

General Baker entered the Air Force in 1979 as an enlisted member and was commissioned in 1985 through Officer Training School after graduation from Southern Illinois University. He has had numerous assignments, such as the Director of Logistics, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam; Chief, Materiel Management Flight, 8th Supply Squadron, Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, and headquarters staff positions, including Chief, Supply Policy and Procedures, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Virginia. General Baker also served as a presidential fuels flight officer at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and as the Commander, 18th Mission Support Group, Kadena Air Base, Japan. He served both as the Vice Commander and Commander, 95th Air Base Wing, Edwards AFB, California, and as the Commander, Air Force Global Logistics Support Center at Scott AFB, Illinois, and Commander, Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill AFB, Utah.

In addition to achieving several educational distinctions in the military for strategic studies, anti-terrorism, and logistics technology, General Baker (ret) holds a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial technology from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and a Master of Science degree in administration from Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant.