What do you get when you combine the aircraft maintenance management application that supports many aircraft with a supply-chain and material planning solution? Dan Dutton, product manager of IFS-Maintenix, and Edmund Wodarski, PTC’s expert in service parts, think an airline will get the best and seamless integration of both maintenance and material management available. And Southwest Airlines, a four-year customer of PTC’s Servigistics software and now in the process of implementing Maintenix, is about to find out if they are right.
Maintenance and material managers have had different views of part requirements, especially those surprise requirements that occur due to unscheduled maintenance or during scheduled tasks when aircraft are opened up, Wodarski says. An MRO wants all the parts it might need, and material planners try to hold stocks and purchases down. Given the right data, PTC’s Servigistics is designed to optimize the amount and location of stocks, taking into account the costs and benefits that incur across the airline.
IFS’s Maintenix can supply the part data needed to drive Servigistics’ optimization, says Dutton. And when Servigistics has made up its mind on optimum stocks, Maintenix can automatically execute the orders through platforms such as Aeroxchange. For simple replenishment orders of simple parts, everything might be done completely by the machines.
All carriers must work these two problems somehow, but Wodarski says most do them separately, in silos of data and applications. The Maintenix-Servigistics combo is designed to be seamlessly integrated, simplifying the dual tasks and keeping both maintenance and material management aligned with the airline’s, not each department’s, true performance goals.
The partners are talking to more airlines now, hoping that a joint solution to maintenance execution and material optimization will be attractive enough to overcome the traditional cautious attitude of airlines toward changing MRO systems.