Stocking spare parts for aircraft can be a tricky business. You want to have enough on hand to keep your planes in the air, but you don’t want to tie up too much capital in inventory.
Balancing these competing demands requires a well-thought-out spare parts inventory management strategy. These are four tips to help you get the most out of your aircraft spare parts inventory.
Keep an Accurate Record of Your Assets
The first step in effective inventory management is knowing what you have on hand. That sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how many businesses don’t have a clear picture of their assets. If you’re not tracking your spare parts, you could be inadvertently ordering duplicates or leaving something crucial off your reorder list. These duplicates could be taking up valuable storage space and tying up working capital that you could use elsewhere.
Determine Which Parts Are Most Critical
Not all spare parts are created equal. Some are more essential to keeping your operation running than others. Make sure you know which items you can’t afford to be without and stock accordingly. Understanding which parts are most critical will help you make more informed decisions about what to keep in inventory and how much to supply.
A few of the most critical spare parts you’ll want to keep on hand include:
- Engines: Obviously, you can’t fly without an engine. If you have more than one type of engine in your fleet, you’ll want to keep spares for each.
- Propellers: Propellers are another vital component. You’ll want to have at least one spare prop for each plane in your fleet.
- Landing gear: Landing gear is another key component. You may want to keep multiple sets of landing gear on hand, depending on the size of your fleet and the amount of traffic your planes see.
- Airframe parts: In addition to the major components listed above, you’ll also want to keep a selection of airframe parts on hand. These parts could include control surfaces, panels, and other smaller parts.
Manage Your Inventory Levels Automatically
With today’s technology, there’s no reason to manually keep track of your spare parts inventory. Some software programs can do this process for you, freeing you up to manage other tasks instead of searching for each aircraft part number lookup. Make sure you choose a program that integrates seamlessly with your existing systems. The last thing you want is a bunch of separate, siloed systems that don’t talk to each other.
Implement Just-in-Time Delivery Whenever Possible
Just-in-time delivery is a supply chain management strategy that involves waiting to order inventory until it’s needed. This method can help reduce carrying costs and improve cash flow. Not every spare part is suitable for just-in-time delivery, but it’s worth considering for items that are not time-sensitive or mission-critical.
Aircraft spare parts inventory management is a delicate balancing act. You want to have enough parts on hand to keep your planes in the air, but you don’t want to tie up too much capital in inventory. These tips will help you find the sweet spot to keep your operation running smoothly.
Seattle Aviation Solutions can help you streamline your spare parts inventory management with our in-depth knowledge of the aviation industry and products that are specific to your needs. Our team can also provide valuable insights and help you make more informed decisions about what to stock and how much to keep on hand. Contact us today to learn more.