5 Steal-Worthy SPM Strategies from Top A&D Organizations: An Interview with General Baker

PTC Aerospace and Defense Service Parts Management

When you’re responsible for sustainment planning and readiness based sparing for a sophisticated, multi-echelon A&D organization, you need advanced systems and processes to help with your planning and forecasting activities. You can’t afford to rely on a basic or homegrown service parts management (SPM) solution when you’re working with a complex network in a high-stakes environment.

“PTC is the industry leader when it comes to spare parts management. Just ask the U.S. Air Force who recently purchased our software to provide parts forecasting for the most complex supply chain in the world,” says Major General (RET) Brent Baker, VP of Worldwide FA&D for PTC.

Some of the leading aerospace and defense (A&D) organizations rely on intuitive SPM solutions to drive results. These A&D leaders agree on the following 5 SPM best practices:

1) Calculate TSLs in order to increase system availability

Accurate service parts forecasting is challenging, especially in a high-stakes A&D environment. When you’re working with a mix of fast and slow-moving parts with sporadic demand, you need to have an intuitive service parts management solution to help with forecasting and calculating target stocking levels (TSLs).

Your system should be able to project TSLs at each location and optimize inventory levels, while making parts available at the right time, with the right part, based on budgets.

“The PTC Service Parts Management solution was 30 years in the making with almost a billion dollars of R&D investment. In my opinion these facts make our solution the industry leader,” said General Baker.

PTC has developed sophisticated methods for determining location-driven TSLs. These methods are controlled by contractual levels of availability and cost constraints, by location or contract.

2) Ensure your SPM solution supports your readiness-based sparing efforts

The high value and mission critical nature of A&D equipment that is being serviced dictates the need for high availability of spare parts. Low spare parts availability will result in compromised equipment availability and the additional costs of failure recovery.

Readiness-based sparing (RBS) involves analyzing organizational needs and stocking spare part levels and locations in a way that ensures organizational readiness. A&D leaders know a sophisticated SPM solution is necessary for supporting their complex RBS efforts.

3) Optimize the maintenance of complex assets with SCOR

The supply chain operations reference (SCOR®) model is recognized worldwide as the best method to ensure highly complex assets are maintained appropriately—especially those in A&D that are subject to extreme stress and environmental conditions.

According to APICS, the SCOR model describes the stages of fulfilling a customer’s demand. It is separated into 6 primary management processes: plan, source, make, deliver, return, and enable.

Top A&D organizations utilize the SCOR model, along with their SPM solution, to effectively manage every phase of their service lifecycle.

4) Deliver immediate value with commercial off the shelf (COTS) software

Warfighters need support now. Rather than eliminating an existing system and starting from scratch with a new one, A&D organizations can now deploy solutions with a “wrap-and-extend” approach. This creates unprecedented efficiencies in cost and time for organizations that can’t afford to have downtime.

“PTC’s SPM solution is out of the box, ready to provide immediate value to an organization and has an amazing return on investment,” General Baker said.

Additionally, Servigistics can be tightly integrated with an organization’s existing systems—reducing the amount of resources needed for implementation and training.

5) Improve solution adoption and enable the digital thread

The future state of the A&D industry is tied to the Third Offset Strategy—a plan that relies on a crucial combination of technology and people. By using software specifically designed to enable the digital thread, organizations can improve interactions between their systems and people with the tactical power of technology.

General Baker said, “The PTC Service Parts Management solution is now connected, which means it can be linked to your other systems—MRO/PLM, 3D CAD, etc.”

Does your SPM solution support these initiatives? Now that you’ve seen some SPM tactics of top A&D organizations, does your inventory management software help you meet these objectives? If not, maybe it’s time to implement a solution that will support your efforts.

To see more expert insights on service parts management for A&D, check out our infographic.

Service Parts Management for Commercial Airlines