15 Aug 2023
Time is money and having an aircraft on the ground has financial implications that operators do not want to bear. While summer maintenance shop visits increase, it is vital to effectively manage AOG services. But how does one enhance operational efficiency while also mitigating costs?
The aviation industry has had to explore new ways to deal with the cost implications of AOGs. Scott Symington, Chief Commercial Officer at AJW, says that ‘having access to an inventory pool is a hedge against the CapEx of holding, or the headcount of sourcing and managing, inventory in-house.’ Striking a balance between commercial terms and operational requirements when contemplating long-term pooling contracts is necessary as it allows operators to consider contract duration, price structure, consigned inventory, and warranty provisions, amongst other things, before committing to a full PBH (Power by the Hour) service.
Symington suggests several advantages provided by AJW’s substantial investment in a rotable pool, which feeds into the trend among customers to secure flight hour agreements to access inventory and competitive pricing. He adds that this strategy is helping to manage the supply chain disruptions and ongoing delays in TATs.
Operators are starting to look more closely at the details of their pooling contracts and we’re seeing an increase in AOG support directly to operators. Customers are looking at cost, flexibility, service, and support as primary inclusions in their PBH arrangements leading to increased demand for the quality of inventory provided under the contracts. Predictive maintenance is being utilised to include more forward planning as opposed to being reactive in the approach to maintenance.
AJW’s approach is to always deliver on expectations by making strategic decisions about a nimbler supply chain, and Symington feels it is a survival of the fittest situation. Those who can deliver will thrive, those who cannot, will be deprioritised. The Group CCO emphasises the central role technology is playing in taking AJW’s business operations into the future.
He says technology offers a range of solutions to overcome challenges faced by those in aftermarket services. ‘Predictive maintenance, data analytics, and artificial intelligence are just some of the technologies that can help to identify issues early on and prevent unplanned maintenance tasks, which increases aircraft reliability and reduces downtime for maintenance, leading to cost savings and increased efficiency,’ he says.
Mwanalushi delves into a discussion about the use of technology in managing AOG services as operators expect speed, accuracy, and support, which is driving positive change in the sector. He concludes by mentioning the ever-present post-pandemic challenges and how suppliers and OEMs must still manage these effectively while dealing with the ongoing lack of raw materials and unpredictable lead times.
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