4 Jan 2019
The MRO giants are embracing technological change and finding new ways to efficiently and effectively run their businesses.
The challenges are plenty. Material costs are rising, labor costs may be increasing as the mechanic shortage grows and the challenge of managing maintenance for legacy aircraft while welcoming next gen aircraft creates a unique dichotomy.
Growth is still happening in our cyclical industry. Air travel is booming right now, airlines are profitable and emerging markets continue to hold the promise of the golden ring. There is steady growth predicted for the next ten years. Consolidation among players is still happening. Renewed laser focus from behemoths like Boeing are impacting the playing field, too.
During the next ten years, the global air transport MRO market will grow an average of four percent, The Oliver Wyman annual MRO forecast projects. “Total MRO spending expected to rise to $114.7 billion from $77.4 billion in 2018,” the report says.
Oliver Wyman’s report says a gradual changeover to newer aircraft will see airlines retire older, less fuel-efficient models—although at a slightly slower rate than expected last year. Delta Air Lines, for example, is in the process of taking delivery of their new A200s while continuing to fly every last leg possible on its Mad Dogs, the venerable MD-88 workhorse, that has helped their profits soar, before retiring each one.
Meanwhile, to remain a leader among giants, MROs are looking for ways to entice new customers and keep the ones they have. Technology, digitization and niche product offerings are being dangled at every turn.
AJW is spearheading a number of digital initiatives to enhance operational efficiency for its customers and colleagues. In the next three years, AJW says it will fully develop a modern cloud-based infrastructure to provide customers with the ability to engage digitally in real time across multiple platforms. “With 30 locations across five continents, local server-based data storage presents challenges of both capacity and consistency; consequently, AJW is migrating its data and many core digital services onto cloud-based storage systems,” Whiteside says. Holding all of the data in one place will enable them to create a “data lake” from which the company can develop the building blocks for wider digital information. “This will enable AJW to guide and boost its predictive analytics expertise.
As part of this digital evolution, AJW is also introducing a digital services platform for customer use to ensure efficient and effective interaction in all transactional areas,” says Whiteside. “It incorporates a highly responsive portal which enables customers to manage transactions on a live basis. The platform is designed to quickly and reliably integrate with third party software systems, such as AMOS or SAP.”
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