The typical summer slowdown that the used market has become accustomed to seems to have taken a summer vacation. While worldwide inventory has ticked up slightly in response to seasonal variances, the inventory of 2000 and newer jets fell during the past couple of months. As the fleet has aged, the broader number of aircraft for sale has to be looked at closely. Consider that aircraft that are 25 years old or older account for more than one third of the market currently for sale, and these aircraft are often lumped in to the total figure to define the health of the market.
Supply chain management
Business jet demand has not recovered in line with corporate profits as it has in the past. J.P. Morgan aerospace analyst Joseph Nadol III attributes the sluggishness to “the stigma attached to bizjets during the recent recession and a focus on cost cutting among corporate customers. We estimate that 2013 U.S. corporate profits were up about 50 percent from the 2008 trough, whereas bizjet deliveries have yet to turn up decisively.”
Competing in the MRO business requires more than just maintenance skills and a good price, according to one company. Rick Veague, chief technical officer for IFS North America, a global enterprise software vendor, believes it also takes simple and efficient data tracking.
Troy, Michigan-based AGM Aerospace is launching an international supply chain collaborative here at FIA 2014. The collaborative is designed to bring Tier 1 through 5 suppliers together to “collaborate on a new methodology,” according to AGM director of aerospace Gavin Brown, “to take the cost out of the cost, using the aggregate demand model.”
The plan is to share information on a cloud-based platform to facilitate digital manufacturing. This will include engineering, modeling, simulation, production and delivery of finished components.
Most aerospace and defense executives think their companies would improve their ability to collaborate with suppliers in engineering and manufacturing design by making more use of product lifecycle management (PLM) processes, but few of them believe their companies are making significant progress in this regard. This was the main conclusion of a new survey on product engineering and manufacturing published ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow by Accenture (Chalet J/1).
Buyers continue to make their collective presence felt in the pre-owned market, pushing worldwide inventory to multiyear lows following a consistent contraction since last year’s NBAA Convention. Since that time, the market outflow of choices has exceeded the inflow and levels have dipped from 2,600 then to about 2,335 today, a level not seen since the summer of 2008. There are likely a number of factors affecting the depletion, including the perception of an improved U.S. economy, which has stimulated sales activity.
Dynamic Systems is offering what it promotes as a low-cost tracking system for MROs and FBOs using the latest bar code technology. Total Track System tracks tools, maintenance, equipment, work orders, inventory, capital assets and job costing. Bar-code data collection has proved to be the most accurate and efficient method of tracking or counting items.
Fresh Jets formally launched its online live empty-leg platform in March, offering a new way for charter users to be introduced to charter operators. Instead of just listing inventory that may or may not exist, Fresh Jets is a software system that charter operators and corporate travel departments can use to take advantage of empty legs.
AAR is acquiring inventory and customer contracts from Sabena Technics Brussels. Responsibilities include power-by-the-hour support for 13 customers, which AAR’s Aviation Supply Chain division will handle from its new facility at Brussels Airport. “The move establishes a rotable pool operation covering the A330, A320 and 737NG for current and future customers,” said John Holmes, group vice president of supply chain for AAR. The 24/7 facility will support AOG and other parts requirements for AAR customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration recommended that Boeing address four “issues” related to manufacturing and supplier quality in a new report released on March 19. The report details the results of a joint review of the Boeing 787’s design manufacturing and assembly processes ordered after the January 2013 lithium battery fire aboard a Dreamliner parked at Boston Logan Airport. The review team also made recommendations for improved, “risk-based” FAA oversight to account for new business models.
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