NBAA Convention News

API strengthens logistics hubs

 - November 14, 2006, 7:52 AM

Paul Fanelli, president and CEO of Aerospace Products International (API), announced two logistics hubs as well as more efficient parts supply management through its application of SAP software. API (Booth No. 615) helps clients manage some 200,000 parts spanning 150 product lines.

The company also announced it has established its first foothold in mainland China at Pudong WaiGaoQuao Free Trade Zone, Shanghai. China was previously covered by the API center in the Philippines. Since 2000 the company has signed 400 customers in 34 Asian countries. The Shanghai hub will serve as a logistics and distribution hub completely owned by API’s parent First Aviation Services.

Jean-Marie Pogu, API’s senior v-p for marketing and sales, called the China opening “an experience,” requiring new schools of thought in tax law and Chinese business regulation. API also added a hub at London (UK) Luton Airport, its first dedicated operation in Europe. The 7,000-sq-ft center can later double in capacity.

JetBlue Airways recently accepted API’s Web-based electronic supply program (ESP) to manage the supply of chemicals with limited shelf life it provides to its line stations. The ESP suite is based on the Internet so requires only a Pocket PC or other hardware connection, and a barcode scanner to tap the hosted database. With ESP, customers can automatically replenish stocks or slip ahead of the parts-demand curve with modules such as Rotables Management, Tool Room Management or Shelf Life Management. Clients pick and choose modules and the inventory to which it applies; FlightOptions uses the Rotables tool for key emergency equipment while JetBlue increased dispatch reliability by applying the module to perishable chemicals. One barcode swipe can accept a pallet load of components.

Fanelli and Pogu said that most buzz about API stems from their rollout of SAP enterprise software over the course of 10 months, completed earlier this year. API became the first aerospace distributor and logistics service provider to employ SAP, which is an inventory and supply chain tool normally used by organizations far larger than API. The best elements of SAP software were melded with API’s product, ESP, Fanelli said.

“There’s a huge difference in the proposal process, or responding to clients, with the SAP,” said Pogu. “We don’t have to pull the technical people in.”

Previously, Fanelli and Pogu had to adapt internal technical standards when working with the larger OEMs where the use of SAP, is common. An API program manager is assigned to each client for end-to-end analysis and reporting to identify what Pogu called “areas of pain.”