MRO Europe Conference Highlights Challenges and Opportunities for MROs and Aerospace Distributors

MRO Big Data Supply Chain

The recent MRO Europe conference saw major players in the global aviation community coming together to share best practices, learn about innovations, and plan for the future of MROs and the aerospace industry.

As we have emphasized in previous posts, the aerospace industry is experiencing some exciting growth and changes right now: new technologies, continued consolidation and emerging markets, to name just a few. At this year’s MRO Europe conference, we were excited to hear more about the ways in which the industry is changing and how the industry is reacting.

Harnessing the Value of Big Data

In everything from politics to how we consume media, “big data” can feel like an annoying buzzword – but the reason you can’t seem to escape the term is because big data is truly changing the way we do everything. From Pratt & Whitney’s EngineWise platform to Boeing’s AnalytX service, aerospace companies are turning to big data to monitor and respond to maintenance and operation issues, and to increase the potential of predictive maintenance. But the rule of big data is “the more data you have, the more accurate your decision making will be,” which led to a discussion on the importance of data collaboration in a panel led by Boeing, Airbus and Embraer representatives. It’s clear that big data will impact heavily on the future of the aerospace industry.

Investing in Old Aircraft Fleets vs. Buying New

Even while commercial airlines are seeing record earnings, revenue per passenger continues to decline, forcing airlines to look for creative new ways to cut costs. Some airlines are seeing opportunities to invest in repairing and refurbishing their current fleet instead of investing in new aircraft. This could be very good news for the MRO industry indeed.

Forging Strategic Partnerships

As the demand for MRO services grows to meet the increase in global commercial aviation, more and more MRO providers are exploring the benefits of collaboration. From technological partnerships, utilizing augmented reality to train MRO mechanics on repair practices, to partnerships that pool the expertise and workforce of existing MROs to expand their capacity for repairs, creative collaborations are proving very successful and very beneficial, especially in this time of high demand.

Optimizing Supply Chain Management

As the move toward digitization continues throughout the aerospace industry, there are concerns that the MRO supply chain could be lagging behind. Citing innovative advances in warehouse management from Amazon and Tesco, Sakher Haddadin, head of logistics for Etihad Airways, challenged airlines, MROs and aerospace distribution companies to modernize their warehouse operations to ensure that the supply chain keeps up with the rest of the innovations taking place in aerospace.

Lessons for MROs and Aerospace Distributors

It’s clear that the next few years will continue to see many shifts and challenges for the MRO industry, aircraft parts distributors and aerospace as a whole, but there are significant opportunities for innovative supply chain solutions, value-added distribution, deep partnerships and creative service offerings to address the changing aviation landscape. We’re already getting excited for next year’s MRO Europe conference to learn even more!


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