It’s best practice to know how much shelf life remaining your o-rings have as you purchase them. To do this, you need to know the type of elastomer used in the gaskets. Once you have that, you can then quickly determine the o-rings shelf life.
Have you been AOG for bolts? What about bearings and wire?
You live in a world where fast paced and stress is how you get things done.
And since your product is flying close to the speed of sound, fast paced is an understatement.
Grounded aircraft and poor planning are a sure shot to lose money.
We’ve all been there. You purchase an aircraft component and never receive it. You've been scammed. Or you receive something that’s vastly different than what you ordered.
In either case you've been duped, tricked, and fooled into paying for something that was a lie.
Money is thrown in the garbage and you’re left having to fix it.
You think you’re alone when this happens. Sadly, you're not alone.
A few years ago we bought an INU for $15,000. The "company" was based out Atlanta. GA.
Before paying we revised the airworthiness certa. Everything checked out. The vendor sent us an AWB.
The next day, nothing showed up and nothing tracked. We called the local FedEx branch and they said they have a guy on video coming back to pick up the part.
We were officially scammed.
Thankfully for me I have a cousin in the FBI and a few friends gave these scammers a nice phone call. Over the next couple weeks we had our check back.
We can't all be so lucky every time.
We’ve also encountered a $30,000 fraudulent wheel assembly purchase out of Turkey. We avoided it using the tips below.
Smell the scammer
[Tweet "If it looks like a scammer and it smells like a scammer then it is a scammer. #avgeek"]
During your first communications you’ll have clear signs of what type of person you’re dealing with. He probably even smells funny through the phone. If you smell a stench, hit the trench.
Reliable partners are completely transparent. You can find them online, they’ll video chat with you and they’ll reply to you during all hours of the day.
Scammers want to keep a low profile and they ALWAYS use aliases. It’s your responsibility to connect the dots. If the dots are easier to connect, you have a legit company.
Disclaimer: just because they’re legit doesn’t make them good. Legit companies can still be horrible to work with.
Ways to avoid being tricked
We’ve been tricked into buying fraudulent aircraft parts numerous times. It's tough to spot especially if you're in a rush.
We’ve also received parts that weren’t what we ordered and getting it resolved was a pain.
Here is a list to help you avoid be scammed. If you’re dealing with someone that resembles these be cautious.
- They don’t have a professional website.
- They have a standard email address like @gmail or @hotmail.
- They don’t give you their phone number, better yet they hide their mobile #.
- They write emails unprofessionally.
- You request documents and it takes then a couple days to get them to you.
- You request a picture of the unit but all you get is one picture fuzzy looking thing.
- You request a picture of the id plate and the S/N doesn’t match their paperwork.
- You ask if they take credit card and all they take is wire transfer.
- You ask them to fill out your QA audit form and they don’t have an internal QA policy and they can’t send you a copy of their QA manual.
- You can’t find the person you’re purchasing from on the internet.
These are the best ways to spot a scammer. Professional aircraft component scammers have to keep running. They lurk in the shadows.
When talking with them something will always be suspicious. Keep ears and eyes open.
Better yet, if they resemble some of these points above, run away.
In a world of non-stop AOGs, the evaluation of the aircraft can give us one more hurdle...
Many years ago (years I rather not try to recount) Legos was my toy of choice.
Besides the GI Joes and Hot Wheels of course.
Lego is a toy that inspires creativity and it's something to build from scratch. Piece by piece, color by color. You can make something spectacular or have a pile of useless toy bricks.
These toy bricks are a lot like aircraft consumables.
Use the wrong piece, order the wrong product, lose an important component, and you have a messy maintenance project. One that’ll lead to AOGs, lost revenue and a stressed out you.
Consumables are an integral part of airlines maintenance operations. But of course you know this.
Any way you think of it, it’s difficult keeping up with new sealant specs, higher assembly numbers and bad information. More importantly, chasing down problems is counterintuitive...and costly to you.
Dealing with hundreds of airlines, I've heard and seen it all.
Not being consumed by aircraft consumables takes a strategy.
Create a plan of attack
How do you go about ordering your consumables?
Is it a blind RFQ to hundreds of people, or do you have a method behind your madness?
Whether it's 3M 398FRP white cloth tape or window sealant, sit back and think about the most effective distribution for you.
Some things to think about are your future needs, expiration date, HAZMAT, and transport.
If you have a long consumable list think about the logistics and the time it'll take you to process the requirement. Once you start getting into multiple line items you risk increases for possible problems.
Don't process your long consumable list immediately. Think about how your requirement will best be served and follow a plan of attack that accomplishes just that.
Establish a forecast
If there's one word that can cause stress and resolve hundred of problems at the same time, it's forecast.
When you think of forecasting you're bound to think of reports, list building, statistics, and 10 others things that are "hair pull" worthy.
Forecasting is actually not that difficult and it will save you countless of hours processing orders and thousands of dollars in inventory.
Lets look at a good example I mentioned above, the 3M 396FRP tape. Lets say last year you bought a total of 144 rolls divided between 3 orders. Now factor in the cost of each roll, processing time, and freight and you get close to an accurate per unit cost.
Over the next 12 months you forecast the same consumption rate. Building this forecast allows you to have the tape in stock when and as you need it. No overbuying or stocking for long periods of time. It significantly cuts processing and holding cost.
This is the primary purpose of our JIT program. You would receive 12 rolls per month as a part of your monthly JIT consolidation. No POs, no shipping instructions, it just shows up at your door.
Forecasting generates simplicity and simplicity saves you time and money.
Having a “go-to” resource
When you have a problem, whose your external resource?
Having internal resources is great but what if engineering tells you need Cargo Gel Tape?
Where do you go, who do you ask, who can best serve your needs?
Having a professional external resource that has your best interest at the front of everything they do is crucial.
They'll help you solve consumable hurdles, answer your questions about specification, and most important they’ll work with you to streamline your consumable distribution.
Relying on that "go-to" source will save you countless hours.
Your time is scarce and consumables have a tendency to peak their little heads and consume much of your day.
Problems are inevitable and it takes pre-thought planning, accurate forecasting, and reliable partners to alleviate most of your headaches.