The Lessons Learned From A Failed Aircraft Maintenance Check Plan

Have you ever tried juggling multiple things at once?

You secretly whisper yes while you think of the dreadful memories.

The good news is you're not alone.

Skylink aircraft maintenance
Skylink aircraft maintenance

I worked with an aircraft maintenance customer who seemed to be living large under the umbrella of a large commercial airline.

With various Phds on staff to fine tune their forecasting methods, things seemed under control, until...

Budgets began tightening.

Several layoffs occurred and he was in charge of managing stores, organizing maintenance checks, and structuring a repair strategy.

Their simply wasn’t enough time to do it all. With a couple Boeing 737-800 and A330 undergoing c-check, the stress was wearing on him. How was he going to figure out how to do it all?

His team didn't have time to do it all. From cutting POs, following-up on ROs, processing various orders, managing the aircraft maintenance company, and organizing ferry flights, there wasn't enough time in the day.

As his aircraft went through maintenance, he experienced delays with component supply. As more delays occurred, his team began falling further behind. Time became a bigger issue so they spent more money on expediting and increasing their initial maintenance expense.

Delays didn't diminish, and their c-checks were delayed costing thousands of dollars.

Distribution chaos

Aircraft distribution chaos is having various projects with high ineffectiveness tying them together.

Aircraft c-check planning is the most crucial starting point. It's where you review and organize proper procurement and logistics plans. The aircraft maintenance facility can do the repair work, but you'll still have to babysit them with many activities, especially if you're going to supply your own rotables and consumables to drive down costs.

Airlines sending out mass RFQs is standard in the industry. This isn't efficient or cost effective once you get to the ordering stage. Begin thinking of partners who can do most of the consolidations for you, and who has the capabilities for your c-check list. This will streamline your procurement process as you'll do less purchasing, following-up, and organizing logistics. You'll reduce administrative costs significantly as well.

After you have a procurement and logistics plan in place, don't wait until the last minute to make key decisions. If you know you'll need 20 rotables, then begin organizing the procurement. Problems always pop up so getting started quickly is key.

The next step is to have several contingencies in place. Your aircraft component partner must follow this concept as well. Each rotable and consumable should have contingencies if an issue occurs. Items with no contingencies or long back up lead times must be noted.

You work like a mad man but it's impossible to do it all yourself. Even if you had a great supporting team, efficiency is brought on by utilizing and outsourcing activities to experts in that desired field. Aircraft painting, catering services, and component supply are 3 high value outsourcing areas.

The last step is to put trust in your partners. If you've developed a relationship, you trust them and they get things done, utilize them. It costs you more time and money doing it all on your own.

Have a "list”partner

When it comes to organizing your aircraft c-check, you know you'll have hundreds of rotables and consumables that will be required.

Sending RFQs to hundreds of suppliers, cutting POs and having everything shipped from various sources is highly inefficient. Go ahead and count the cost of what you spend in administrative and shipping costs when it's done this way.

The best solution is tapping into your partners who can quote "lists."

By lists I mean you send them a 100 parts you need and they quote you 95% of the list. They have 70 parts in stock, relationships with 10 more parts you need through OEMs, and the remaining they'll consolidate on their own.

All you have to do is cut one PO and have one shipment.

They won't settle with quoting what's easy.

You may be hesitant at first, but if they're good they'll be able to back this up with consistent reliability.

Partners working lists is great, but it's not great if they're robots blindly quoting.

You want to work with partners who are knowledgeable, diligent, and approachable (even on the weekends).

Aircraft c-checks are a stressful time.

Outsource your rotable and consumable requirements to partners who can take care of the entire component distribution. They'll ensure you have a streamlined process and save you thousands of dollars on administrative and logistic expenses.

P.S. We support thousands of parts every year through our airline partners c-checks. We quote the entire c-check lot, consolidate the part,s and use our logistics service to ship the components to your aircraft MRO. Click here and ask us how we can support your upcoming c-check.