Having an AOG during Hajj is an expensive proposition. Over 2 million Muslims from 183 countries will descend on Mecca and the surrounding areas. Airlines from all over the world are hired to help achieve this logistical feat.
Your aircraft, the material and people who support it, and your entire supply chain must be ready for the spike in traffic. Looking at the big picture, having important conversations and planning are crucial to successful passenger transport during this yearly pilgrimage.
Here's a list of conversations we've had, that you might find useful to prepare your aircraft material for Hajj demand.
Compile a list of all the expendables and consumables you may need
This will take multiple conversations. Discussions between maintenance, engineering, stores, procurement, logistics, and supply chain will need to happen. These discussions will cover any anticipated and unforeseen material needs.
Once you've done that, look at your consumption history and what you already have in inventory. Based on your conversations, your past consumption, and your current inventory, should you procure more items to get you through the Hajj demand?
The next step is to send this list to your trusted material advisor. It doesn't matter if it's 20 parts or 1,000, they should be able to send you a quote with the price and lead time in a short period of time. Hajj is fast approaching and now is the time to stay ahead of it.
Once you have the quote, order what you know will be necessary for this period.
Increase your safety stock
If you're in a vendor managed inventory agreement, it's time to review your current inventory. Are there any items close to their re-order point?
Once you hit your re-order point, it might be too late. Have your VMI partner send you replenishment. You may end up with an increase in excess inventory, but you'll consume it in the next few months. Just adjust your reorder point to compensate for the additional inventory you might have.
The most important thing here is to speak with your VMI partner. Discuss how they can best serve you through this high traffic season.
Discuss plans with your rotable partners
Communication is important. Schedule a conference call with your rotable partner. Whether you're in a pool or PBH agreement, or none at all, having a discussion about the traffic you expect and how they can best support you is important.
Get them on the phone. Do they need to make sure certain units are ready, should they prepare for certain exchanges, are there items outside the contract that you're worried about, should they temporarily provision material at an outstation?
These are the things you'll want to discuss. Plan for it, have a discussion, and be ready.
Do your outstations and line maintenance have what they need?
Your outstations and line maintenance must have the material they need. From high usage expendables, low value rotables, consumables of all kind, and tooling, they must be prepared.
Have these teams go through and audit what they have. Are there items they're getting low on? Has something gone missing that's hurting their productivity and efficiency? Is there material that they should have, but don't, that causes delays?
Having these conversations may bring to your attention an issue you didn't even know about. Resolve it before it's a big issue and you've won. Resolve it once it's a big issue, and it's too late.
Discuss how AOGs will be handled
If you've organized yourself up to this point, I'm sure you're more than ready for an AOG. Okay, so maybe not ready, we'll call it “prepared.”
Take a step back and ask yourself, when an AOG occurs, what will we do? The answer to this question may spark an idea to help you and your team be more efficient, to have an important conversation with your material partner, or to take action on something that'll help you avoid an AOG all together.
During Hajj, traffic spikes and the demands on your supply chain become massive. Prepare yourself, be ready, and deliver an amazing experience to your customers.