A version of this article appears in the September 8 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology.
PwC’s Rick Wysong and Dirk de Waart provide five best practices for more-effective collaboration and information-sharing across the MRO supply chain.
Forward integrate through service-level agreements: Wysong and de Waart have worked with airlines to create simple, one-page service-level agreements (SLAs) for internal functional departments that outline what is expected for each step of a process. For example, maintenance relies on procurement, warehousing and logistics for parts. But those organizations cannot do their jobs if maintenance is not providing them with accurate records and returning parts in a timely fashion. The SLAs outline what is expected of each organization.
The airline’s value chain should drive repair priorities/allocations: Rather than measure an internal or external repair shop on how quickly they turn around parts, repairs need to be prioritized around planned or unplanned maintenance events. The focus should be on the parts with the highest contribution to the airline.
Create/share bills of materials (BOMs) to improve integration/management of changes over the spares planning time horizon: Parts suppliers and repair shops need visibility into the parts most likely to be required for upcoming service checks—what PwC calls a “probabilistic BOM,” because there is a probability such parts will be needed.
Focus on high-value data/special-factor drivers to compress data-sharing cycle time, improve data quality and remove barriers to sharing: The idea is to share information with suppliers and service providers as that information is received rather than wait until a maintenance event is about to get underway.
Leverage and share aircraft real-time diagnostics to identify/address potential failures: Airlines, OEMs and MROs alike are collecting real-time information for diagnostics and predictive maintenance. The next step is to share that information up and down the supply chain so it can deliver value.