15 Sep Independent Spare Parts Procurement
Pour your money down the drain!
…or you could read this article. We know that independent parts sourcing does not sound like the most exciting topic out there. However, it may be worth your while because it can significantly influence what you spend on your aircraft maintenance.
But let us start from the beginning. Where do parts even come from? It all starts at the factory of a parts manufacturer. Once the parts have left the assembly line, they are in “new” condition and can be assembled into a new aircraft or sold with a certificate to be installed. After some time, the parts may need to be removed and replaced due to malfunctions. This, however, is not the end of the line for removed parts. They get a second chance at life through overhaul or repairs and can then be sold and installed again with the appropriate certificate in those respective conditions.
In each stage of a part’s life, the certificate certifies that the part is of good quality and is fit to be installed on an aircraft. From this point of view, a “new” part is just as good as an “overhauled” or “repaired” part.
Therefore, any time an aircraft goes into maintenance and requires replacement parts, there are two main options. First, new parts and second used parts, which can be both sourced from OEMs and the world market.
Every time an aircraft is in maintenance at an MRO and the parts sourcing is left to them, parts from the OEM will be installed without considering more cost-efficient options. As an aircraft owner, this means placing your blind trust into that MRO and the OEM to which it is contractually bound. Consequently, this partnership has full control over the price you receive. This might seem like the easiest way, but it most certainly is neither the easiest nor the most cost-efficient way.
Placing all the responsibility in one hand is nice and fun until it concerns finances and maintenance costs, which are heavily influenced by spare part prices. Therefore, in the spirit of maintaining your aircraft cost-efficiently, it is worth considering a parts source other than an MRO.
This job of finding the best deal for each spare part with the appropriate documentation can be very challenging and time-consuming. It sounds rather easy but to find the best deal, you first need to know where to look. It is then necessary to have trusted contacts in the industry and in-depth knowledge about the parts trade to negotiate a fair price. Moreover, a good deal cannot be achieved without purchasing enough volume yearly from your trusted parts sources. However, volume like this cannot be achieved by one person or one aircraft alone.
Therefore, an independent company can take on the parts sourcing, find and negotiate the best deals for every situation and deliver the parts with all required certificates directly to the MRO for installation. This process does not rely on blind trust but research, negotiations, and knowing that the most cost-efficient solution was found in every situation. In the end, placing the responsibility of parts sourcing in independent hands allows for up to 50% cost-savings compared to parts that are sourced directly through MROs.
Considering the cost of some spare parts, this is a significant amount that merits taking the time to consider your options.
Matthias Kortschak, COO
Anna Gletthofer, Marketing Manager
This article was originally published in Aviation Heaven Magazine in February 2021.