Tips for Choosing the Right Aviation Materials MRO Management Solution


Smooth MRO strategies are the backbone of any resilient and cost-efficient operation, but this is especially true for those in the aviation industry. However, between creating and preserving reliable procurement relationships and managing inventory, this can prove a challenge. 

To combat the inefficiencies of manual systems and remain proactive in a dynamic and unreliable supply chain, procurement and operations leaders are turning to new technology. 

Here are some of the challenges teams are facing industry-wide, and the cutting-edge tools they are using to stay ahead. 

Challenges that operations need to overcome 

Maintaining compliance with new regulations

Aviation is constantly evolving, and regulatory bodies continuously update their standards and guidelines to ensure safety and security. These regulations are put in place to minimize risks, prevent accidents, and protect the lives of passengers and crew. 

This requires frequent reassessment of MRO operations so that teams can stay up-to-date with the latest guidelines and equipment safety regulations.

One of the main reasons MRO operations are such a critical area is that regulation changes require putting new regulatory measures in the context of daily operations. This can be especially challenging if the practice of data collection and interpretation is limited on an operational level. 

Significant investment in training, technology, and infrastructure alone can incur significant expenses. To add to that, expenses that pile up from inefficiency can make these frequent but necessary changes that much more costly. Finding tools and strategies that make preventative care and spare parts management simple can safeguard procurement and maintenance teams from these unnecessary expenses. 

Keeping up with complicated supply chains

Supply chain inefficiencies and challenges have seemingly become the new normal across industries following the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, aviation maintenance operations have not been immune to these delays and shortages. 

It has made careful procurement strategy especially important, pushing teams to cultivate and maintain reliable vendor relationships to keep operations smooth.  

Many maintenance and operations teams struggle to keep spending low when uncertainty is high, often stocking up on excess inventory even when it is cost-inefficient. This is exacerbated by a lack of operational visibility and unreliable data. This lack of internal transparency can make it challenging for teams to keep vendors accountable, strategically maintain inventory, and keep costs at a minimum. 

Maintaining strategic, and profitable, vendor relations 

Suppliers play an integral role in successful MRO and spare part management strategies. The benefits of a strong supplier relationship can lead to more reliable shipments and strategic pricing plans, which can be especially important when market volatility is high. 

Evaluating supplier performance starts with a robust set of KPIs and well-written contracts. This makes it possible for teams to keep suppliers accountable, measure performance over time, and strategically determine when change is needed. 

Keeping track of supplier performance can be challenging, however, if procurement strategies rely on outdated manual processes. For one, information is difficult to keep track of and retrieve, much less standardize. Tools that maintain and make sense of procurement and inventory data can help avoid this and keep procurement strategies in place.

Tools and features to look for in your MRO software 

Simplified reporting and data analytics 

Sorting through information in search of something meaningful can make the process feel impossible, especially when it comes to considering how much time and manpower it would take to look through disparate data. Automatic, standardized, and simple reporting makes it easy to quickly identify trends, patterns, and anomalies, providing a holistic view of operations without sacrificing granular insights.

Investing in a materials management software consolidates all MRO and spare parts data into a single platform. As a result, teams can access inventory and procurement insights at any given time. Not only this, but these new tools use the power of natural language processing to offer actionable recommendations that make processes more efficient and effective. This proves especially useful when it comes time to implement new compliance standards or report on procurement trends. 

Natural language processing (NLP) capabilities for easy contract management 

MRO operations often work with complex contracts, including agreements with vendors, customers, and regulatory bodies. These contracts contain a vast amount of information, which can be challenging to manage and extract key insights from. NLP capabilities can help leaders extract essential information from contracts quickly and easily, enabling them to make informed decisions and manage contracts more effectively.

For instance, NLP capabilities can help manufacturers assess whether suppliers are complying with the terms and conditions or show inconsistencies with their lead times. Coupled with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), managers can monitor supplier performance and score them according to different metrics. Using this information, managers can decide whether to continue working with their existing pool of suppliers or replace them with more reliable ones. 

Actionable insights and recommendations 

From routine maintenance to compliance checks, keeping aviation assets healthy takes careful planning. Without strategic maintenance plans, routine work can lead to costly downtime.   

A cloud-based solution backed with artificial intelligence and machine learning can help MRO  leaders optimize their maintenance scheduling by providing actionable insight and recommendations based on real-time data, equipment usage, and condition. This information can help leaders identify equipment that requires maintenance, optimize maintenance schedules, and minimize equipment downtime, all while enhancing operational efficiency.

The right MRO solution makes all the difference in the world of aviation

In such a fast-paced and dynamic industry, it can often seem like the only constant is change. Investing in the right tools and taking a proactive approach can help fortify MRO strategies without increasing costs.

Learn how the MRO aviation industry can streamline its processes through intelligent materials management.

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