When we look within the aviation business, we see aircraft, engines, and parts constantly traversing the earth, but have you ever wondered what was the means and cost it took to do it? There are numerous methods and pricing schemes to deliver products around the world. For example, the cost to deliver a component between continents can be very high when utilizing an On Board Courier. What’s worse is when the part costs much less than the delivery itself. Also, components important for customer convenience onboard can be very critical if they don’t work. If you’ve ever heard about the first flight on Monday morning with all the coffee machines out of service onboard, you will understand what I’m referring to.
When GA Telesis decided to design an aircraft parts and component logistics strategy, we started with our customers. The customer fleet mix, modifications, maintenance schedule, and flight plan can provide accurate initial provisioning requirements. With ongoing flight expansions, flight plan adjustments, and maintenance schedules, the inventory level per station and re-provisioning bases can offer a safety net.
The four goals of Logistics are time, costs, quality, and quantity. With newer tracking and tracing technology, a fifth goal can be identified: transparency. If you can be confident that you will have the part on time, you can plan for the maintenance event. This transparency is a critical factor for success as the aircraft are rotating throughout the network.
To provide the best logistics strategy for our customers, GA Telesis must understand its network and when the part must arrive. Two approaches can be identified for the most successful outcome. With global capabilities and distribution centers, you can be close to your customer. Another method is to work jointly with your customer and agree on different locations to hand over the material to ensure it reaches the final destination. With a hand-over, it is possible to utilize an airline’s flights to keep the logistics costs down with the transparency for the customer to track the part. Try to ship with the lowest priority for the most cost-effective option, if possible, but maintain flexibility when the shipment becomes urgent.
The other consideration is the size of your shipment. If the part can go via passenger aircraft in the baggage compartment, there are many more options for faster delivery at lower costs. Pricing and criticality increase for larger shipments that require freighter main deck capacity.
Any logistics strategy must incorporate a sound quality system. GA Telesis is proud to exceed quality standards in meeting all expectations. To ensure parts will get accepted, the supplier must meet the highest traceability and quality standards. Physical component quality goes hand-in-hand with certificates, shop reports, and traceability while also meeting airline packaging standards.
To ensure that unforeseen costs are not incurred, tariffs and duties must be closely monitored and evaluated. One of the newest risks to cost management is international trade barriers. The initial step in understanding this topic is to have an accurate parts database. The sender and receiver of a shipment must be familiar with HTS-code, Schedule-B, Manufacturer, Country & City of Origin. That will determine if you can bring a part duty-free across the border or be required to pay the duties, fees, or taxes. In some cases, you might work with transport-in-bond or have a bonded warehouse to avoid or delay costs.
Customer-oriented logistics strategies support aircraft availability. As we all know, aircraft availability and safety are the most important goals within our customer base. With a robust logistics strategy in place with GA Telesis, the coffee machines should always be working on your Monday morning flight.