Eying a still relatively untapped online marketplace for aviation parts, Honeywell Aerospace today unveiled a new e-commerce business, GoDirect Trade, likening the new platform to an Amazon format. Honeywell is saying it is among the first to use blockchain to help connect buyers and sellers online. GoDirect Trade will provide access to both new and used air transport and business aircraft parts in what Honeywell says is a “first-of-its-kind experience" with pricing transparency and the option to buy inventory directly from the website.
Less than 2.5 percent of all aviation parts transactions are completed online, the aerospace supplier noted, and the online trading that occurs now often requires a timely quote process. Many of these sites are closer to listing services providing a showing of what inventory is in stock and linking customers directly with the seller. Buyers can call numerous companies and can wait days or weeks for parts pricing, Honeywell said.
“Up until now, the ability to shop for spare parts online with prices, product images and quality documentation all in one place was unheard of for the aviation industry,” said Lisa Butters, who is heading up the new venture. Parts on GoDirect Trade are available for immediate sale and shipping, the company said, adding its use of blockchain technology ensures images and quality documents are available for the exact part offered.
Buyers and sellers directly contact each other through the GoDirect Trade. Any part, OEM, trader, distributor or “mom-and-pop” shop can post parts for sale, Butters said. The site provides unique storefronts with the sellers' logo and a listing of policies. A customer searching for a part will see results from multiple sellers, but the customer can go directly into a storefront. The site further provides for online reviews of both buyer and seller. “We are the first marketplace to enable customized seller storefronts, and we are the first to leverage blockchain technology to build trust between the buyer and seller,” Butters said. “Our platform and mindset will change the way the industry does business.”
Part sellers have tried Amazon in past, but told Honeywell that this effort was unsuccessful because of the nuances involved in the aerospace market, she said. Technical and quality documents are required for a parts sale and most customers still use purchase orders. “These two requirements make a platform like Amazon unusable for these aerospace parts sellers,” she said. “GoDirect Trade is the first aerospace marketplace to require a price, product images, and quality documents on every single listing. Without these components, a seller cannot list.”
Blockchain is being used to build trust in the marketplace. “We have developed a service called Trust Trace that will provide part pedigree data on serialized components,” she said. “ It’s very similar to CarFax, which gives you information about used vehicles and helps inform you prior to making a sale.”
The company’s own Honeywell Aerospace Trading launching a storefront, but plans call for six more to launch by January. These include Dassault, WG Henschen, StandardAero, and Turbo Resources, among others.
“GoDirect Trade represents an evolution in our market, and being backed by a major equipment manufacturer brings the confidence we need to be one of the early adopters,” said Thomas Noonan, director of material and part sales, StandardAero Total Aircraft Spares. “This technology will help propel the aviation industry forward into the realm of other e-commerce sites that many of us use each day without a second thought.”