Attend any number of business aviation (BizAv) conferences the world over and you are likely to find program schedules chock-a-block with reports on electric aircraft, blockchain measures at security gates, and more calls to innovate than you could imagine.
Alternatively, and perhaps of greater import, pick up any number of leading newspapers and you will simultaneously be met with headlines detailing the latest aviation disaster with subsequent calls for improved regulation around aircraft parts, pilot training, and flight data recording.
Would you be surprised to discover, however, that the root cause in the case of the latter (i.e., safety concerns) is but a result of the former, or in looking for that next great leap forward?
The carrier industry, which includes both commercial as well as military aviation, has actually never solved its 50-plus-year problem of integrity within the aircraft parts supply chain.
In other words, and brace yourself (no pun intended!), due to the extremely costly price tag associated with just one aircraft, fliers of all make and model must try to keep their assets flying longer, but under increasingly strict environmental, quality, and safety regulations.
This means that some airframes, among them 737s and C-130s born in the 1960s are, yes, still in operation.
In order to maintain these aircraft as well as ensure they are ready to go when your firm needs to move precious cargo (e.g., other parts, people, and the like), then you must first update your supply chain tracking, tracing, monitoring, and auditing system so as to ensure timely receipt of only the those spare parts deemed airworthy.
Tracking, tracing, monitoring, and auditing:
Like every other industry operating at scale across the globe, airline carriers and shippers are being asked to do more with less.
Much less, actually.
Consider, 35 percent of global trade by value now moves by winged courier due to the last-mile effect and urgent needs placed on companies by end users in the perishable goods, luxury product, pharmaceutical, live animal, and e-commerce industries, among others.
Just one missed sortie due to a faulty part or lack of spare asset could result in not only the loss of life should the end user be a doctor in need of critical medications, but also the erosion of the carrier’s bottom line if one of the over 200 race horses shipped in a 24-hour period does not make it to the starting line and, in so doing, results in cancelled contracts.
Preparing contingency plans should be relatively simple in order to avoid missed ‘lines’ in both the military and civil aviation world, but with more assets flying longer there are now fewer companies making compatible parts for aging fleets since reinvestment often flows directly into digital research and development initiatives.
That said, and in order to ensure airworthiness on aircraft from the 1960s (or earlier), legacy parts tracking, tracing, monitoring, and auditing systems can no longer afford to rely on a Frankenstein-esque system of ordering, receiving, and guaranteeing the authenticity of spare parts.
In other words, barcodes, manual Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, RFID, and the like, must be supplanted by GPS.
How ParceLive keeps suppliers flying:
This is precisely where turnkey solutions, such as ParceLive, can make robust those aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul operations by guaranteeing that the part on order is the right part.
What’s more, ParceLive creates a chain of integrity that enables maintainers to pass along critical updates to pilots, couriers, and top brass on when they anticipate receiving the asset so that the next sortie goes without delay.
ParceLive is also incredibly easy to use and can takeover those legacy, ‘Frankenstiened’ processes toward sharing key information and updates across enterprises and, in so doing, avoid data being lost vis-à-vis a single user’s desktop crash (bad pun, we know!).
How ParceLive prepares you for industry 4.0:
Not only does ParceLive initiate that first step toward proactive monitoring of aircraft parts, which is to the 25B already in circulation with 3B coming online each year, but it readies the carrier and maintainer in securing their parts pipeline toward further digitization.
This is to say that before a service provider can offer blockchain as a means of preventing gaps from appearing between the some odd 20,000 suppliers of aircraft parts and the handful of operators, they must first understand all of the data behind the movement of aging assets via GPS in order to utilize only those providers capable of consistently shipping reliable aircraft parts.
These informational insights are another key aspect of ParceLive, which not only make more robust the tracking, tracing, and auditing processes required across the aviation industry, but also helps transition carriers toward lowering their carbon footprint by maxing out and cubing out their cargo holds and sending fewer, ‘LTL’ loads into the sky.
Due to the shrinking cache of spare parts for aging aircraft fleet, maintainers and operators must reinvest in tracking and taking care of those few assets, which remain in circulation.
By keeping aircraft flying longer, carriers are allowed to avoid costly upfront airframe purchases, but can only achieve this by improving their monitoring processes and adopting GPS-enabled systems that take the guesswork out of ordering spare parts.
In turn, and one realized, the carrier and maintainer will be better able to transition into the next phase of the industrial revolution, which is to say the digitization of future aircraft parts and supply chain management processing.