Transforming MRO: Eyes Everywhere

All change, all change

The global MRO operations industry is highly fragmented. It is a vertically-integrated industry thoroughly ‘dis-integrated’ into highly dynamic global supply chains of vendors, MROs, parts manufacturers, OEMs and leasing companies. These cannot be managed by legacy, top-down tools for maintenance, planning and scheduling.

Meanwhile, the airline industry is experiencing an existential crises. Over 50% of aircraft are now leased and post pandemic airline bankruptcies are rife. There is an unprecedented oversupply of parts and components. Services are being outsourced at virtually every step of airline operations. As a result, automation and long-term planning are a matter of urgency for all stakeholders.

Airlines are therefore moving from an “owned” approach to managing maintenance operations (MRO) to an “operated” approach. This is a technology intensive approach that is increasing productivity, improving safety and reducing costs. Two vital features of this approach are cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT). Both technologies enable remote access to data as well as the status of parts and equipment thereby transforming aviation maintenance.

Cloud Software

Cloud-based (SaaS or software as a service) delivery solutions are scalable, flexible and easy to implement. They require minimal or no IT involvement. Airlines can use cloud computing services to manage internal and external resources as well as a a range of devices, vendors and applications.

Data can be easily shared, analysed and repurposed in real-time. Maintenance updates to repair records, technical reviews to leasing documentation can all can be used by multiple users in multiple locations, for multiple applications.

ExecuJet MRO Services uses Quantum. It is an ERP system that uses barcodes to manage the entire parts supply chain from quotes and proposals to labour and skill management to billing and invoicing. The application service enables transparency, security and traceability at a granular level.

Industry Internet of Things (IIOT)

ITOT-enabled smart sensors and cloud-based software are transforming MRO services by enabling companies to deliver transparent, efficient, cost-effective services. They can monitor stock levels and manage deliveries to eliminate shortages, minimize disruptions, improve safety standards and reduce resource dedicated to managing large inventories.

Research shows that OEMs prefer MRO distributors who offer a wide range of value-added services seamlessly, efficiently and proactively. MRO distributors who have implemented technology infrastructure, systems and processes that can “enhance purchasing experience, promote transparency, reduce supply chain complexity, and offer unique service offerings” have a competitive advantage in building relationships up and down the aerospace supply chain. These MRO’s are utilizing IIOT to implement smart inventory management solutions.

This post is one of a series of blogs on how technology is transforming MRO services including Blockchain and Predictive Analysis and 3D Printing and Augmented Reality. Read our introduction here.

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