When you look at the MRO business today, you’d think that it would be very hard for one shop to really differentiate itself from another. After all practically every step of every inspection or maintenance procedure is spelled-out in the aircraft OEM’s approved maintenance manual. And those are “rules” you just can’t afford to break.
But thankfully, innovation is alive and thriving at MROs around the world. To stay ahead of their competition, leading shops are examining and rethinking every aspect of their daily business to find new and innovative processes to save time and money.
Whether it’s shaving a few minutes off of a task or developing a new tool or software application to streamline a process, even a small innovation can reap huge savings for its customers and translate into a significant advantage for the shop.
Innovation Is Where You Find It
Back in the day “innovations” just sort of happened. You’d find a better way to do something and it became part of a company’s culture. There’s too much riding on it to leave innovation to chance today. Leading MROs are making innovation part of their corporate culture.
“Our entire motivation for innovation comes from our Chairman down,” stated Dany Kleiman, aviation group VP, repair and engineering for AAR Corp. “We are always working in three key areas: One is to stay close to our customers. Second is to be innovative. And third is to execute. That’s the golden trio we follow in our planning.”
Kleiman said that AAR’s large airline customers are encouraging the MRO to look for ways to innovate and improve processes. “We actually got a mandate from one to re-plan their scheduled maintenance in a way that will drive their turn-times down and save on some routine inspections,” he said.
“As an MRO we are really selling labor and any way we can reduce labor time becomes direct savings to our customers,” explained AAR’s VP & CIO, Kevin Larson. “One way we’re reducing turn time is through our StAAR work card and labor collection system. One of its big benefits is touch-screen access that drive the functions around time, attendance and quality assurance.”
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