4 Jun 2019
MRO and logistics providers using evolving technologies to improve reliability of deliveries and forecast real-time inventory needs for parts.
Cost, speed and quality are the key metrics of aircraft MRO, and logistics affects all three. Smart logistics requires expert staff working with a widespread set of facilities and transport options. Increasingly, it also requires advanced digital tools, especially in two areas—forecasting demand for parts and tracking shipments of them.
This view is shared by a pure logistics provider, an asset manager that incorporates logistics in its services and a global transportation company that needs logistics for its own aircraft and manages logistics for other carriers...
...AJW Group dispatches 4,500 shipments of aircraft parts a week, mostly under 50 kg (110 lb.), but a few larger ones like engine inlet cowls or internal drive generators. Smart logistics is a “key differentiator,” says Chief Operating Officer (COO) Gavin Simmonds. “You can do all the other stuff right. Without good logistics, it all goes out the window.”
The need for speed puts all shipments on trucks or planes, with the mode chosen according to part and destination. With AJW regional hubs in all populated continents, delivery is usually fast and easy, and AJW staff speak more than 60 languages to deal with local customers. But sometimes customs processes take longer; clearing borders to Brazil, for instance, may take a week. “You have to know local regulations—for example, not shipping on wooden pallets to some countries or not shipping from U.S. origins to others,” Simmonds notes.
All this requires substantial staff: about 10 logistics managers to do bookings, another 150 employees to handle receiving and inspections in the warehouse and two dozen more to make sure the network is running smoothly...
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