3 Oct 2017
By Christopher Whiteside, President and CEO at AJW Group
The continued rise in air travel is accompanied by the ever-increasing demands of the air traveller and their lifestyle. Today, consumers set their expectations high; from direct routes, ease of booking, tracking of flights, through to on-time departures, on board surroundings and facilities; in other words, the entire end-to-end travel experience.
These high consumer expectations do not stop there; they come hand-in-hand with a desire to pay less. As a result, never has there been a time when the total customer experience has been more central to an airline, as they aim to deliver the experience and focus on building their brand reputation as a reliable and value-for-money carrier of choice.
You’d think this would be simple. But coupled with uncontrollable market complexities, including increased competition and the changes in fleet to the new fuel-efficient aircraft, this leaves airlines facing complex challenges.
The reality is airlines have few paths within their control in which to reduce costs and improve efficiencies whilst building a positive brand reputation and delivering the experience the passengers now demand.
Supply Chain Management
One area they do have control of is how much of their supply chain the airline manages themselves versus how much they choose to outsource.
In order to gain the greatest efficiencies and reduction in costs, airlines must consider outsourcing a greater amount of their supply chain to specialist providers.
This is because it is difficult for an airline to maximise efficiencies, drive down costs and maintain quality, as they are only managing their own fleet. Whereas, providers such as the AJW Group, who manage large portfolios of fleets across the globe, gain greater economies of scale and purchasing power as well as provide the expertise and infrastructure to manage the entire supply chain effectively. In addition, by outsourcing, an airline can reduce and streamline their own vendor management, leaving a single service provider to manage the entire myriad of suppliers in the aftermarket industry whilst minimising internal resource.
Further efficiencies can be gained by choosing a provider with their own MRO facility. By having its own state-of-the-art MRO facility, AJW Technique, AJW has control over and can also guarantee the quality of repairs as well as the turnaround times. This combination, alongside the analysis of the huge volume of repair data available, enables AJW to support its customers and maximise the time-on-wing, thus improving the airline’s reliability.
Collaboration and aligning to KPIs
Over the recent years, AJW has been working with airlines, such as easyJet, and more recently leading OEMs, to develop an integrated approach. By collaborating and aligning with our customer’s KPIs, we have been working in close partnership to deliver efficiencies, allowing them to focus on their core service and brand reputation.
Adding to the bottom line
In order to maximise financial efficiencies, the investment in assets by airlines must also be explored. As airlines streamline their inventory or go through the process of fleet renewal, any available stock should be reviewed and consideration given to how the asset owner can gain further financial returns on that investment.
AJW collaborates with airlines to better understand their material planning environments and devises flexible and tailored plans for available assets. Our expert global sales teams provide asset owners with a channel to access the entire aftermarket in order to maximise the return on their investments.
A future of strategic partnerships
Airlines seeking greater efficiency and reliability must ask themselves how they wish to manage their supply chains and assets. If they choose to outsource, then they need to determine who the right partner is.
One who provides a holistic approach and complete integration with their systems? One who also aligns itself with the airline’s KPIs and goals? Or perhaps one who delivers all of this and has the expertise and innovation to bring greater value and efficiencies within a supply chain environment, thus allowing their customer to focus on delivering brand value and exceeding the demands of today’s consumers.
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