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A balancing act | AviTrader MRO

28 May 2020

Keith Mwanalushi from AviTrader MRO speaks to Sajedah Rustom as he examines the aircraft component repair and supply sectors, the opportunities, and challenges amidst Covid-19 and navigating through irregular demand cycles.

Managing supply and demand in times of crisis


At AJW Technique in Canada, Sajedah Rustom, CEO says some customers have changed the nature of their services to support cargo also in light of Covid-19 industry impacts – “We have offered discounts and promos to such operators to help manage their needs and financials. One such example is our quote and hold programme  which allows operators to send repairs into AJW Technique for quote assessment, but then hold the repair until they have a demand, after which we can push the component through the repair cycle and bill the customer accordingly.”


AJW has made adjustments for their power-by-the hour customers, offering them flexibility on minimum hour payments, whilst accessing preferential terms on parts and repairs in a pay-as-you-go style arrangement. “Flexible programmes such as these allow AJW Technique to support operators with changing missions and flight patterns, especially when cargo operations are so critical to the worldwide supply chain and sustainability.”


AJW Technique has invested expertise in streamlining shop floor processes ready to further digitalise operations, including a focus on predictive parts planning and fulfilment. “We use Kanban to manage material flows and these models automatically adjust to account for sales volume variances.”


Rustom adds that AJW has adjusted algorithms to reduce auto-provisioning in line with their daily, weekly, and monthly sales outlook and budgeting tools. “Presently, we are closely watching the changes in customer behaviours around scheduled and unscheduled repairs, watching for any emerging trends and pivoting accordingly. We work closely with our vendor base which includes the major OEMs to proactively monitor parts requirements daily and have shifted to a more just-in-time focused methodology and mechanism of cooperation together.”


A balancing act | AviTrader MRO

Ensuring consistency in repair strategies


All repairs performed by AJW Technique fully meet all regulatory requirements and follow a strict quality assurance programme, assures Rustom. “We deploy a rigorous methodisation process where all core capabilities are ‘methodised’ to ensure bill of material for parts, task-listing and standard work are fully documented and implemented. This enables consistent, high quality delivery that is tracked for efficiency, reliability and cost control.”


Rustom says detailed, measured work-scopes have been developed by an experienced technical team in collaboration with shop-floor engineering and procurement teams. “Each repair is assessed in the context of the customer’s operating environment, history, along with our own fleet history and market data to ensure the most optimised solution in line with cost and reliability protocols. We work in concert with our customers to develop optimal solutions based on our extensive repair and overhaul knowledge, coupled with their in-service experience.”


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