It’s 5am and you're on your way to work. You feel good. Your outfit is sharp, coffee in hand and you're ready to take on the day. With every breath of fresh air you’re excited and invigorated until…

Your Head of Engineering has a busted starter solenoid which has rendered your bird, Aircraft on Ground.

aircraft on ground

The initial feeling you get in your stomach is that of stress and anxiousness. Your feel good, great morning has now been crushed.

On standard days you would process an Aircraft on Ground requirement with a frantic hurry. Mass emails, hurried phone calls and rushed order procurement.

Hurrying in an unplanned, unorganized way will only create a flurry of issues.

A productive Aircraft on Ground

Nobody likes the deep feeling of stress in their stomach. And it’s not good for you.

To effectively tackle an AOG you must be methodical, organized and rely on quality partners.

Here are 5 ways that can help any AOG situation turn positive.

1) Organization: People have claimed that they work best with “organized chaos.” Papers are all over their desk, icons fill their desktop and they don’t know their left hand from their right. Nobody works at 100% efficiency disorganized, period. To get the most out of your AOG make sure to have all your information clear and concise. A few questions you should answer are:

  • What do you need to procure and what are all the specific requirements (i.e. OEM certs, condition, FAA 8130 no less than 12 months old, etc.). This will help you communicate exactly what you need with your suppliers and reduce unnecessary back and forth communication.
  • What’s the latest day I can have this at our facility? The answer to this question gives you a realistic picture if you need to overspend on shipping or if you can wait a day or two. It also helps your supplier plan.
  • By what means is it going to get here? By answering this you can relay all the pertinent shipping information to your supplier so they don't have to waste time asking you. Do you need to ship this AOG air, freight, express? Is it DHL, FedEx or possibly another integrator? Does your supplier use their account or yours? You get the point.

2) Streamline your supplier list: If you normally send to 100,000 people in your email list, narrow it down to your best 2 suppliers. This will help you avoid data overflow and avoid market being stirred. Whether you want to believe it or not, when you send to a long list of people a handful are calling around to get market price which in turn artificially inflates demand and increases the current supply price.

3) Forget about price: I know, easy for me to say but hear me out. When you streamline your supplier list you avoid artificial increases in demand and support the current market price. If you use your 2 best suppliers you know for this instance they shouldn't be overpriced. This avoids precious time being wasted  going back and forth trying to negotiate price with multiple vendors. Remember being streamlined is crucial during an Aircraft on Ground situation. Haggling back and forth over market price only wastes time and time is money.

4) Evaluate a contingency plan: Lets say you buy a part from ABC company and they tell you at 4pm that they “can’t” locate their part in inventory. Do you have a contingency plan to fall back on? By having a contingency plan you have a backup for when something unexpected arises, which as you know happens often. And, on a side note your supplier should have their own contingency plan.

5) Communicate, communicate, communicate: There's nothing harder on a supplier than when an AOG situation arises and information is withheld. Your supplier then has to contact you for more information and considering the international marketplace, you may be sleeping. Share as much information as you can upfront and constantly communicate with your supplier. Effective communication will avoid misunderstandings entirely.

AOGs are bad but through effective planning you can block any obstacles thrown at you during the process.

Give an example of a recent AOG situation you were in below. I’ll analyze it and give you my opinion.