Aerospace supplier Meggitt is tapping into the expertise of PTC to help meet the ever-changing needs of the civil aviation market.
Meggitt, which provides components and subsystems for more than 73,000 aircraft worldwide, is leveraging the capability of Servigistics, a PTC technology for service parts management, to optimise its global parts and aftermarket business in preparation for an expected upturn in the sector.
With UK bases in Birmingham and Coventry, the company initially used the service parts management solution to help achieve a joined-up view of inventory held in its multiple plants across America, Asia-Pacific and Europe.
From there, it enabled the business to ensure that parts were restocked in the locations most likely to need them, based on customer demand data, resulting in faster delivery of parts and more responsive repair services.
Andy Bennett, global demand planning lead at Meggitt, commented: “Servigistics has given us a visibility that was very difficult to attain in the past. We are now far more conscious of trying to manage inventory on a global level, rather than on a regional basis.
“With a regional approach, you’re likely to be holding too much inventory and along with that comes the risk of items ageing or being superseded by new products.”
While Meggitt was delighted to achieve this visibility and to see its impact on customer service and satisfaction, it has now found further ways to get value from Servigistics as the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded.
In particular, the company has been able to apply simulation techniques to the data it holds, modelling different scenarios to assess the likely impact of pandemic-related trends - new travel restrictions, for example, or increased passenger demand - on customer needs, inventory holding costs, service delivery levels and so on.
“This would have been extremely difficult to do in the past, but we can now play with certain variables to test out their impact, which will help in terms of preparedness for whatever the future brings,” continued Andy. “Race-readiness is a phrase you hear being used a lot at the moment and, as rules get more relaxed and people enjoy moving around again, we want to be race-ready.”
Looking forward, Servigistics has a clear role to play in enabling Meggitt to further refine its distribution model for components and parts, giving it even more chances to fulfil customer needs in more rapid, responsive ways.
Mr Bennett added: “Right now, we have a regionalised model for distribution, which may well be reviewed in future. That may mean fewer, larger distribution hubs or new hubs to supplement those that we already have. Either way, Servigistics will be a supporting tool for planning and simulating these strategies.”
As the COVID-19 crisis eventually tails off, Meggitt’s mission will be to help keep aircraft in peak condition and this will depend more than ever on it having the right parts, in the right place, at the right time.
Mr Bennett commented: “Our obligation to operators is to always be able to respond to their needs. So, keeping track of aircraft over their lifecycle and tracking demand across these respective phases is critical to customer satisfaction. Servigistics is a vital tool for us as we grow and adapt to a market in constant change.”