With data generated at record levels in the commercial aviation segment, MRO adoption of digital platforms has steadily risen in the past five years with companies looking to the them and other technologies to increase customer-centric approaches.
Bicky Bhangu, regional director South East Asia and Pacific at engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce, says that while it is encouraging to see a growing number of MROs embracing digital technologies for this aim, the industry should remain cautious.
“What we’re doing at the moment is placing layer on layer of tools, processes and capabilities on what is still a very traditional MRO architecture,” he told a DHL-led customer-centric panel at MRO Asia-Pacific. “If the industry is really going to embrace concepts like Industry 4.0, automation and smart manufacturing, making these investments may a new design and process.”
Fellow panellist, Ross Wyeth, regional head at DHL’s cargo airline division DHL Express, says driving a customer-centric culture comes in the form of people within the organization. “Running programs internally in an organization and bringing out the best in people who may not have had the opportunities instead of spending new money on new programs and software is a positive approach,” he says. “It’s about asking employees exactly what they understand about the customer and how they can help them when something goes wrong.”
He added that technology can also enable this, with a younger workforce being particularly responsive to this method.
This view was shared by David Bruce, vice president of MRO at DHL. “It’s a cultural and technology change that will be driven by the younger generation entering this industry,” he says.