Top 3 Rising Issues In Aviation Supply Chain Management

Top 3 Rising Issues In Aviation Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is the administration of a system in which organizations, their assets, and the information they hold, flow between suppliers and customers. For example, in aircraft maintenance, an aspect of supply chain management is ensuring that parts are available to carry out planned and unplanned maintenance activities.


With rising demand in the aviation industry, the pressure on supply chain management is building up. Businesses who fail at managing their supply chain may be adversely impacted by the growth of the industry. Below are three common issues that are becoming increasingly apparent in aviation supply chain management, in the maintenance sector.

Issue #1: Getting Parts To The Right Place, In Time


Out of all U.S-based Aerospace & Defence firms that participated in a survey, nearly 30% revealed that their toughest challenge in optimising their MRO supply chains was managing the complexities of getting aircraft components to where they are needed, on time.

This is often caused by supply disruption due to design change, incorrect pricing estimates and inaccurate projections of demand,

The Solution: Many aviation firms are now implementing new MRO efforts, such as increasing spare part replenishment activities, to avoid inventory mismanagement. However, companies must be careful not to store too many spares and supplies, as storage space can prove to be costly. Inventory holdings ought to be balanced efficiently.

As a short-term fix, organisations can perform monthly, quarterly or annual ‘spot buys’ for components. In the long-term, lock-in contracts with suppliers can be considered. Another tactic used by aviation companies is to take more control of logistics, to get aircraft parts on time.

Issue #2: Insufficient Sharing of Information


With the rational fear of sensitive information being obtained by the wrong hands (i.e., competitors), many aviation companies refuse to share information along the supply chain. What many don’t realize is that the sharing of information can reap many advantages, such as cost reduction, on-time deliveries and overall improvement in the system. Both suppliers and customers can benefit from increased logistical effectiveness as information sharing can minimize delays caused by waiting for data. In line maintenance, real-time tracking and information can lower operating costs and reduce cycle length by sharing information between vendors, manufacturers and clients.

The Solution: Suppliers should practice the sharing of information with clients, including as turnaround times, capabilities, product innovations, delivery timeframes, full traceability, and tracking information. Customers, on the other hand, should be open to sharing inventory data, delivery schedules, sales data, and market trends to facilitate smoother and more efficient operations.

Issue #3: Skilled Workers Shortage


The aviation industry is growing at a rapid rate, with 2018 being the fourth consecutive year of sustainable profits, according to IATA; and according to Mordor Intelligence, the industry is set to experience revenue growth until at least 2022. All this is music to the ears of aviation businesses.

However, on a different note, the aviation industry is expected to face a shortage of skilled labour, especially in terms of technicians and pilots. This issue is especially of concern in the Asia Pacific region.

The Solution: Aviation companies and their supply chains need to sharpen up their human capital on emerging technologies that drive their industry. Skills in additive manufacturing, blockchain, and smart automation are especially useful. Additionally, according to Boeing’s Technician Outlook, 754,000 new maintenance personnel will be needed in the workforce, within the next 20 years. To attract such numbers, many businesses will seek to increase wages to draw skilled workers. This is good news for those aspiring to be involved in the aviation industry – now is a great time to join!


For more details on how you can be part of the aviation industry, head over to www.dviation.com for training courses, job openings and more!

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