[Guest Blog written by Miriam Schwartz, PTC]
The aviation industry has traditionally been a pacesetter for service efficiency resulting in maximum fleet uptime. After all, aircraft that isn’t usable is a cost and profit drainer. One approach to servicing aircraft came out of a United States Air Force (USAF) initiative called High-Velocity Maintenance (HVM) – a program recognizing that by accelerating systems through maintenance depots, their availability can be dramatically increased.
HVM strives to streamline process and lean out wait times to achieve maximum depot productivity and minimum turn-around-times. This is achieved by understanding the relationships of all of the resources and processes required for a maintenance event. While this is often associated with the USAF initiative at Warner Robins, HVM can be applied to any complex aviation system.
The global and dynamic nature of the aviation industry commands a holistic view of a complex challenge in maintenance and repair, one that combines: Field and Depot, Maintenance Schedules and Material Schedules, Technicians, Parts , Tools and Information, and Symptoms and Solutions.
In order to move from part fulfillment metrics , which do not measure or contribute directly to fleet uptime and profitability , the aviation industry should continue to focus on optimizing its service supply chain in a way that maximizes operating hours and fleet availability.
- Optimization of inventory across a network requires the network to be considered as a whole
- The network must be fluid and dynamic, allowing material to flow to where it is most needed and likely to be used
- The network must be clearly thought out to avoid service parts chasing demand
For this optimization to happen, aviation manufacturers and OEMs need to synchronize their systems/assets, maintenance plans, and material plans. This synchronization takes into account such factors as the number of systems and configurations, activity metrics, maintenance BOMs, forecasts of maintenance events, and many more.
Typically, the most frequent source of work stoppages and missed target completions relates to parts availability, so OEMs and commercial MRO organizations need an optimized, global approach to service parts management that focuses on fleet uptime, not a fill-rate or on-shelf availability approach that’s primarily focused on meeting SLAs.
An integrated process, combining fleet, maintenance, and materials, requires an integrated solution, one that can take all these components into account when making service parts inventory decisions.