3 Ways to Boost Your Aviation MRO Efforts in 2023

airplane on runway
Photo By heychli

The aviation industry continues to rebound from the pandemic and airlines are confident that they’ve reached a turning point in their financial recovery. 

As the industry is heading into another year of a post-pandemic world, airlines are now facing new challenges in their supply chain. Aviation industry leaders need to adopt new strategies and embrace digital transformation to stay ahead of the competition in a competitive market. 

What is MRO in the aviation industry? Here’s how you can streamline your Aviation MRO efforts to keep up with new demands.

How to keep your MRO strategies resilient in a new market 

Increase visibility where it counts

Achieving a holistic view of your supply ecosystem is the best way to build true resilience. Increasing visibility in end-to-end materials management processes creates the opportunity to identify system inefficiencies from the get-go. Not only this, but organization-wide visibility makes it possible to optimize on top of what exists rather than working piecemeal.

For instance, since all materials data flows seamlessly under one ecosystem, you’ll be able to track purchase history from start to finish. Having a digital trail that records your cash flow and working capital can help you pinpoint areas where you’re spending too much. As a result, you’ll be able to eliminate malpractices such as rogue spending and keep costs to a minimum. 

Make optimization a dynamic process

Many aviation leaders make the mistake of optimizing their MRO once and expecting it to be self-sustaining. You can’t just “set it and forget it” when it comes to your MRO—it should be a constant work-in-progress and you should allow optimization to build on top of itself. 

Today’s digital age consists of a highly dynamic market where solutions are multilayered and complex. Your MRO strategy should also be flexible enough to adapt and keep up with these changes. Monitoring these elaborate systems can be a challenge in any industry, but this is especially true in avionics where small delays can have widespread ripple effects. 

Transitioning into a digital system gives you the advantage of using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to assess and evaluate your progress as you optimize. It makes it possible to use existing resources wisely so you can cut back on spending, keep up with preventative maintenance schedules, and see which parts of your supply chain are the least reliable.

Improvements in one area of your business should not lead to bottlenecks elsewhere. This is an unfortunate, but common, outcome of outdated MRO in aviation strategies.

Use data-informed approaches for your maintenance schedules 

Wear and tear is an unavoidable part of the industry. The challenges of maintaining operation processes that avoid downtime as a result of maintenance failures can also seem unavoidable. 

Luckily, new tools can help make what seems like the unpredictable more predictable. 

In a traditionally managed operation, engineers have to rely on judgment calls and manually maintained reports to make maintenance decisions concerning spare parts. However, this practice is prone to human error and can be inaccurate. Instead of depending on estimated guesswork, a better strategy is to use a data-informed approach for your maintenance schedules. 

Predictive maintenance is systematic and performed routinely. This not only makes it easy to schedule repairs but also minimizes the chances of unplanned downtime. 

Tools that help you stay ahead of the game 

Artificial intelligence and machine learning 

Harnessing the power of Industry 4.0 tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning is becoming less of an “experiment” and more of a necessity to survive in today’s market. An AI-based system can analyze large datasets and crunch numbers at unimaginable speed to yield valuable insights that may have taken hours of manual effort and calculation.

For instance, these powerful algorithms can probe historical data regarding previous occurrences of production downtime and form patterns to simulate accurate models that will help predict future production downtimes and the parts needed to avoid it. Because you have a clear idea of what parts need to be replaced before the risk of component failure reaches troubling levels, you can order a new batch of replacement parts without having to wait for the downtime to occur. 

It’s likely your machinery varies in make, model, and usage. While a traditional method for maintenance may have willfully ignored such factors for the sake of efficiency, modern tools consider them to make highly informed, machine-specific decisions that save you in parts and labor. 

Cloud-based data collection 

Disparate systems are another common culprit of hindering MRO efficiency. These systems are riddled with complications and complexities that make integrating end-to-end MRO processes such as maintenance scheduling, quality assurance, forecasting, repair, and procurement that much more difficult. 

What’s more, these systems cause data to be fragmented across your supply chain, resulting in data silos. Not only does this make data retrieval a challenge, but when you do retrieve it, this data is more likely to be inaccurate, not up-to-date, and redundant making it obsolete when it comes to making informed business decisions. 

A cloud-based solution aggregates data from your entire supply ecosystem and houses it in one spot. Not only does this make it easy for you to access the information you need when you need it, but it also facilitates active collaboration among stakeholders as well since there is less friction when it comes to collecting accurate data in real time. 

Get back into the game with the right MRO solution 

Even though the airline industry is taking off in a post-pandemic world, managers have to face new challenges when it comes to their MRO strategies. Keeping up with these dynamic requirements can be an especially daunting task that requires careful decision making. 

Investing in the right tools can help do some of the heavy lifting with insightful recommendations for actionable tasks, procurement suggestions for reliable suppliers, and data-driven maintenance needs. Embrace this digital transformation today with software and see your aviation MRO reach novel heights!

Learn more about how MRO optimization can help manufacturers weather economic uncertainty.

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