May 28, 2023


Automotive and technology

A Simple Guide To Managing Aircraft Component Repairs

If there’s one thing that creates out of control stress, it’s aircraft component repairs.

One minute you have a repair need, and the next minute you have 20 repair orders to ship, follow-up on, and approve.

I recently spoke to a VP of Maintenance of an international airline about this very problem.

Their biggest problem was streamlining repairs.

They pull parts from their large fleet. Repairing surplus stock is a no brainer.

Their biggest problem is utilizing their internal team to focus on repairs, pulling them away for core activities.

Shipping, receiving, and processing repair orders does not create value for them.

Often times they get so overwhelmed they just approve repairs without questioning market or trying to drive cost down, due to the urgency for a part.

That’s not a win/win scenario.

You just don’t have time for repairs. Simple as that. No time to babysit and no time to piece part.

Maybe you could hire someone from, but I doubt they would understand.

Time is crucial and refocusing your resources on core activities is vital to your operations success.

Outsource your work

Before you go thinking, “of course you say outsourcing,” look at these numbers:

Several major airlines that have outsourced heavily in the last five to 10 years claim savings in airframe work of 35 percent to 45 percent. Some 53 percent of worldwide commercial maintenance requirements are outsourced today.

Now those are some numbers worth crunching.

Outsourcing gives you the flexibility to refocus your attention on higher level activities and reduce overall costs.

Imagine going from a world where you have to ship, process, maintain, communicate, approve, and receive multiple repairs, to one where you just approve a repair!

Your outsource partner does all of the work and drives costs down through consolidated shipments, RO economies of scale, and piece parting.

They will identify, quote, contract, track, and pay multiple MROs. In addition to grouping your assets with others to drive efficiency and cost reduction.

Now this is easier said than done.

Knowing your partner is crucial.

Here are a few ways to identify and control the beginning stages of your partnership:

  1. How do they respond to you now? You want to work with someone that is easily accessible and who will respond to your questions in a timely manner. Forget about any robots.
  2. Do they have other repair management partners? Have them send you a list of other partners they work with. Trust and transparency are crucial.
  3. Test them with a scenario. Give them history of your last repairs for 4 – 5 items. Have them work a repair average including freight and see how they can help you drive down cost. Remember, saving you time is a cost that is never reflected in the proposals and one thing that should be considered.
  4. Review their logistical plan. Your goal is to think less about repairs and focus more on core activities. They should have a streamlined logistical plan where they can pick-up and ship back to your facility, without your involvement (you may want to approve freight cost of course).

Simplicity is no longer a commodity

Many airlines are finding value in aircraft component repair outsourcing.

It’s not that their incapable.

It’s necessary to reduce costs and focus on core activities.

When you outsource it’s crucial that you communicate your wants and needs, unless your partner is a mind reader.

Then of course nothing else matters.

That’s why Skylink has a 24 hour repair AOG line that includes mind reading (sarcasm ensues).

With effective communication, your repairs will become further simplified. As you and your partner work closer and closer they’ll become an essential part of your operation.

You may even begin considering them as your in-house employees. Now that’s what you want.

Effective communication and outsourced repairs will help you achieve this.

P.P.S. We pride ourselves on our streamlined repair network. If you have repair needs and want to streamline your repairs, I highly recommend contacting one of our professional account managers today.