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Freighter Trends – Asset Management

3 Jul 2024

Effective asset management is crucial in the MRO industry as it enables organisations to optimise their assets’ performance, reduce downtime, and improve overall productivity. But how can asset management systems enable organisations to develop comprehensive maintenance plans? Freighter Trends Investigates.

Freighter Trends interviews industry experts about how they deliver an effective asset management strategy. Speaking to Lindsay Cooper, Head of Asset Management at AJW Group, the magazine begins by asking why an effective asset management strategy is so important.

 

Cooper comments that effectively managing inventory is vital for MRO stakeholders to maintain minimal equipment levels and for optimal customer service delivery.  

 

It requires forward planning and a strong business strategy,” she continues, “and businesses that have made substantial investments in stock are better equipped to mitigate supply chain disruptions, meet their economic targets, and achieve business success.” 

 

AJW has invested heavily in its inventory and holds 450,000 line items valued at over US$500m. It is our highest priority to efficiently manage this stock to best serve our global customer base. This is testament to our success as an independent player and why we are the partner of choice across the industry.”    

 

Discussing how AJW approaches inventory management, Cooper states that the Group uses advanced statistical and probability-driven inventory optimisation tools to manage its assets, taking a proactive approach by maintaining a robust inventory and ensuring a resilient buffer against uncertainties in the supply chain.  

 

Elaborating, she delves into a key aspect of AJW Groups strategy, which is the continuous influx of aircraft for disassembly. This approach not only bolsters stock levels but provides a steady supply of serviceable material. A sophisticated global pooling strategy, positioning inventory in strategic locations across the world, allows AJW to meet the dynamic requirements of its global customer base. 

 

Furthermore, digital innovation plays a significant role. Cooper discusses AJW’s in-house inventory management tools, which allow for the introduction of demand pictures for new contracts to ensure global customers receive the best possible service by procuring stock in advance of the contract commencement.  

 

“Adopting this forward-focused attitude minimises the need to have a knee jerk reaction to changes in demand or supply," says Cooper. She then states that “Agility is at the core of AJW Group's MRO and business operations. We embrace it in our approach to inventory management and across our organisation. 

 

Freighter Trends – Asset Management

Moving on to discuss how AJW Group ensures the effective tracking and maintenance of assets throughout their lifecycle, Cooper observes that aviation MRO is undergoing a revolution thanks to technological advancements, particularly the rise of AI, AR, and predictive maintenance. 

 

Talking about AJW’s approach, Cooper says “AJW uses advanced analytics tools to identify demand trends and turnaround times to effectively manage stock levels and to guarantee we have the right parts and components in the right place at the right time.” 

 

We're embracing a "stage gate" approach to monitor the lifecycle of component parts throughout the MRO process, facilitating better planning and certainty in managing inventory availability. For the physical logistics of components in transit, we're delving into IoT (Internet of Things) tracking. This includes smart alerts for deviations from planned routes and real-time monitoring of light, shock, and pressure levels, especially crucial for time-sensitive or high-value shipments.” 

 

When asked how AJW Group collaborates with OEMs and other partners to ensure the availability of spare parts and components for asset maintenance, Cooper points to AJW’s long history building successful business relationships.  

 

AJW has been operating for over 90 years and supports over 1000 airlines across 100 countries. We have spent the past nine decades building relationships and collaborating with industry partners. Our well-established relationships with OEMs and MROs, including our state-of-the-art MRO facility in Montreal, AJW Technique, play a pivotal role in our success, and are what allows us to procure and supply components and parts delivering the service excellence for which we are known.” 

 

Lastly, Freighter Trends asks how asset managers ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. 

Cooper states that AJW Group works with various, carefully selected, OEM partners to provide streamlined repair management, and their quality code engineers remove unsafe acts or conditions and foster air safety within the supply chain.  

 

In addition, she reveals that AJW’s management team strives to make compliance and quality initiatives transparent and available to everyone, internally and externally, to engage them in continuous improvement. “Our processes are systematically and rigorously reviewed both internally and by external stakeholders to ensure we lead the way in efficiency, effectiveness, and innovation,” Cooper concludes.  

 

Looking for an agile MRO partner? Contact AJW Group today.  

 

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