Benefits Delivered By iMRO
MRO is still a profitable business as demonstrated by the recent investments into this industry from private equity funds, fueling growth of global third-party MRO "full-service" providers.
iMRO and SAP ERP MRO will deliver numerous benefits but the key benefits your organization can expect with iMRO and SAP ERP include:
- Transitioning your maintenance organization from a cost center to a profit center
- Increasing asset utilization and airframe uptime
- Optimizing responsiveness and reducing inventory levels and transportation/expedite costs across the supply chain
- Ensuring maintenance regulatory compliance
- Reducing in IT total cost of ownership
These benefits will add value to customers as follows:
- Maintenance programs that maximize airframe uptime allows your organization to more aggressively bid for fleet management contracts and take greater risk on performance based contracts
- Reduced material expenditure, reduced waste and rework (including lean techniques) with a one-time inventory capital release and on-going inventory holding, transportation and material control costs
- Faster return to service times through more effective planning of smaller checks, greater visibility of future maintenance resources required, and reduced variations and unexpected events occurring during a maintenance event, repair, overhaul etc.
- Learning new techniques from a diverse range of industries and sectors through the adoption of best practices built into both iMRO and SAP ERP, and through effective benchmarking
Transitioning from a cost center to a profit center
Today many airline, third party and OEM organizations lack cost controls and transparency across their MRO operations. Many organizations cannot accurately answer the question "how much does repair XYZ actually cost". Niche MRO systems with unreliable interfaces to back-end financial packages won't fix this issue. This lack of cost transparency makes it hard for your organization to:
- Know what contracts to bid for and how much to quote
- Know how to bid, price and set-up revenue recognition for performance based and fleet management contracts
- Bill quickly and automatically based on a complete cost picture
iMRO and SAP ERP MRO harmonizes your MRO operations, supply chain, financial, costing and billing systems across one enterprise platform with real-time integration and just "one version of the truth". All costs (labor, material, external vendor, overhead, penalties etc.) can be tracked in real-time and related through SAP profitability analysis to a contract, customer, fleet, engine, aircraft or LRU. This will enable your organization to accurate quote, price, bill, measure and report, as well as understand where costs are getting out of control or where specific customers or contracts are no longer profitable.
Increasing Asset Utilization
The complicated technical structures and maintenance programs inherent with an airline or military aircraft fleet makes it very hard to accurately plan when to carry out heavy, light and line maintenance checks including how to incorporate aviation regulatory body airworthiness directives and original manufacturing service bulletins and engineering changes. Throw in the need to optimize and balance resources needed for maintenance such as hangars, labor groups and specialized ground support equipment and tools, and the planning problem becomes unmanageable.
Most organizations respond by delegating this task to one or two planning gurus with a set of spreadsheets no-one else in the organization actually understands. How do you know you have an optimized plan, or that these back-room gurus have all the information to hand which influence the maintenance schedule?
SAP ERP MRO and iMRO provides dedicated maintenance planning applications which link:
- The engineering maintenance program definition
- New AD's, SB's and technical bulletins as they are released
- All resources needed to perform maintenance work
- Expected planned or standard hours for each maintenance event (incl. time-phasing and capability requirements)
- The actual flight schedule
iMRO optimizes this plan to achieve maximum asset utilization within a defined set of constraints, allowing your planning gurus to focus on rapidly responding to changes (such as flight schedule changes or unexpected resource availabilities). Above all, iMRO provides enterprise-wide visibility of the maintenance plan making any variations to plan easier to manage and less likely to result in waste within your organization.
Supply Chain Optimization
Sporadic and unknown changes in inventory demand, limited sharing of data with vendors and the use of multiple internal IT platforms makes it very hard for your organization to optimize inventory levels and locations, and to fine-tune you and your vendor's supply chains around your current spare and rotable parts needs. This often results in decisions to either own inventory which could be managed and owned by vendors, or to outsource complete maintenance events including planning and engineering, at much higher cost than outsourcing labor and operations-execution alone.
iMRO, SAP service parts planning and endorsed bolt-on applications such as MCA's inventory optimization application provide real-time inventory requirement, availability visibility throughout you and your vendors' supply chains, enabling your organization to effectively manage demand and supply. This will allow your to improve service levels or asset support uptime for the same average inventory levels, or reduce average inventory levels for the same service level or asset up-time, or perhaps to improve both. HCL can perform a study of your current supply chain and recommend inventory savings and service level responsiveness improvements that can be achieved in your organization using our, SAP's and MCA's tools.
Ensuring Regulatory Compliance
How do you avoid the situation recently in the news where hundreds of flights were interrupted because maintenance records did not accurately reflect what was, or needed to be, carried out and the maintenance plan instructions were ambiguous? How do you ensure that your organization is compliant with FAA etc. regulations without an army of clerical staff to update, track, store and find paper maintenance records of work performed? If you outsource high labor content work such as heavy checks to low labor cost regions, how do you ensure your vendors are being compliant?
iMRO and SAP ERP MRO provides electronic maintenance records out of the box, from integration to in-flight data such as ACARS, to an electronic logbook and maintenance records repository covering line, hangar, engine and component repair shops. More importantly, HCL’s iMRO and SAP's ERP MRO electronic maintenance records can be used by vendors throughout your supply chain to ensure compliance without excessive cost.
Reduced IT Cost of Ownership
Fuel price hikes have heralded belt-tightening throughout the aviation maintenance industry, and IT is no exception. If you are using more than twenty old, out of date and disparate IT systems you are not only spending much more on IT support than you need to, you are sitting on a time-bomb of IT systems which may stop talking to each other and cannot be changed to meet the changing needs of your business in a timely or cost-effective manner. Once you factor in the "true cost of IT" - including the army of engineers and bright technicians maintaining spreadsheets, word documents and Microsoft Access databases throughout your organization - you will find that transitioning from your legacy to an enterprise-wide SAP ERP MRO and iMRO suite has a lower total cost of ownership.
iMRO and SAP ERP MRO work as a single enterprise-wide application running on one set of hardware with a single development environment, access controls, data model and user interface allowing your IT organization to focus on business process improvement and meeting the changing needs or your business, rather than supporting an unknown number of unreliable interfaces and disconnected niche-systems. Furthermore, HCL is able to work with your organization on an on-demand hosted or "software as a service" (SaaS)" model for delivering iMRO and SAP ERP, allowing you to essentially outsource your business and maintenance applications IT support to HCL and partners, and to focus on your core business. With this model HCL takes care of the system implementation, deployment and support, including software, documentation and hardware, over a long-term multi-year contract.