Aerospace and Defense : Performance improvement of MRO activities

Improvement of management practices of maintenance interventions and spare parts stock management
Case study
07/16/2015

Context and challenges

The customer approached Argon Consulting in order to improve the performance of its MRO activities, by identifying paths of progress in terms of:

  • The organization of aircraft maintenance operations (on-the-spot and centralized maintenance, aircraft and equipment)
  • The management of spare parts (sizing and location of stocks, procurement planning, distribution logistics, management of shortages, etc.)

The assignment included two phases:

  • The diagnostic of the existing situation, in order to identify the key projects
  • Support for priority projects, which consisted mainly in coaching the existing teams

Approach and methodology

Argon Consulting conducted a diagnostic of the existing situation: organization, processes, flows, performance indicators and information systems.

The main points covered by the diagnostic were:

  • Measurement of the performance of the current processes and any gaps with the best practices in the aerospace sector
  • A detailed analysis of the causes of unavailability of the aircraft and turnaround time (tat)
  • The determination of flow cycles with the greatest impact on spare parts, both in terms of procurement, returns from repair and dispatch for repair
  • The assessment of the quality of the stocks according to the expected service rates and the consumption patterns of the articles
  • Construction of an implementation project plan: project team, internal and external contributors, key milestones and control mechanisms

The findings of the diagnostic included:

  • Insufficient control of stocks (service levels not defined by article category, no segmentation of the articles, poor consumption forecasting processes, insufficient interaction with suppliers, etc.)
  • Insufficient coordination between the players in the logistics chain: breakdowns in flow, insufficient priority management, time spent waiting for equipment
  • Insufficient anticipation and planning of maintenance operations according to operational requirements
  • Obsolete information systems, poorly commanded by the current players and containing inconsistent reliability data

Following the diagnostic, four projects were launched on specific themes:

  • Command of the sizing of the stocks and procurement planning
  • Reduction of the logistics flow cycles (transport and warehousing)
  • Planning and operational management of maintenance operations
  • Improved reliability of the data in the information systems

Results

The initial diagnostic highlighted and prioritized the main malfunctions. It also convinced management and
the players in the field of the need to change operational practices.

The relations between operations and maintenance are now under better control (organization of 12-month, 6-month, 3-month and W-1 planning meetings), and maintenance is now customeroriented.

New field tools have been made available to the maintenance personnel to facilitate the planning and scheduling of everyday operations, in terms of staffing and material resources (which are costly and often used in an uncoordinated manner).

The main targets for the sizing and monitoring of the stock have been defined, on the basis of a segmentation: price, consumption volume, consumption pattern of the article. Procurement proposals have been made more reliable by deploying new requests in addition to those made by the existing tools.