Last updated on October 7, 2020
Aviation as a massively growing industry faces a lot of problems and as we have already written in the previous post about Lack of Manpower in aircraft maintenance, we will face another problem now.
Aircraft parts and materials market is worth around 23 billion dollars annually and it’s growing by 10% every year. The highest part of the market is taken by parts for the engines but others are not far behind it. Due to the high demand in this area and the speed of growing it is hard to catch up with all the problems that came by. when you need an airplane part or some row material you will most likely find yourself confused as there is no exact information on stock availability, price, delivery time, etc.
In a close past, many have found this area of industry attractive for a business solution that will be good for everyone but no one yet came with an idea good enough to change game rules. As far as we have got until now is knowing that it has to be put online and simplified so processes will happen quicker than earlier. Locatory, PartsBase, Aviall, Aero-bay, and ILS are the best solutions online you can find at this moment. Anyhow, even with them, processes are long and information is not updated so often. We have seen other tries like E-plane, Fipart, Airpartz, Spareonair lately but their results are not so promising. Let us take a look at the largest problems of aircraft parts and materials market.
One of the biggest among problems of this market is finding a seller who has what you need on stock and ready to ship. You will often find on e-marketplaces information about some company stock that is not current at that moment. And sometimes companies even forget to upload info when they get new Part Numbers on stock so even if they have it you wouldn’t know. Partsbase is working on making API connections with their suppliers so stock info would be changed in real-time online as it changes in reality. Hopefully, companies will understand their aim and help them spread quality information about locations and quantities of aircraft parts and materials.
Another good example of this is AirPartZ that came with the idea of giving freedom of uploading stock info by excel lists in just 2 clicks, but it was not successful. There were some other examples like this but limited to a specific number of items (mostly around 100) that also didn’t show up well.
Locatory is currently the best by the relevance of their data. Around 90% of stock data on their service is actually true and that is giving them a better starting position against others as they almost solved this problem.
Now when we have located a store that fulfills our needs, we have to find out all the info about the articles we are buying and there comes new problems as most of the sellers are not placing online anything but the quantity and contact number. So basically you always have to ask for condition, location, price, certificates, etc. We have found out that to make a purchase seller and buyer will have to write 9 emails on average. That means that each side representative spends around half-hour for one purchase. E-plane has an idea of pretty much cutting this time in the future, it will be their great advantage as shopping on their service is going to be done much faster. In the next couple of years from now, it will come to full commercialization of this area and purchasing processes will become nothing more than a few clicks of a mouse with no communication between buyer and seller.
Another problem is price transparency. For a large number of parts, there is not specified price on a market so from quote to quote price for the same part number in the same condition can vary up to 200%. In our opinion, it is very important to get prices specified on worldwide bases so there would not be so much wasted time in searching for a lower price. Of course, there won’t be the same price at all sellers but differences could be much slower and it will be much easier for logistics departments to decide where are they going to buy. As well, this could bring more space for smaller companies to fill the market gaps and to bring more competition.
And the last, but not less important, is delivery time for the items purchased. Delivery time can be affected by many factors so the efforts to improve it are great.
First of all, sellers are not honest with their abilities to send a shipment as soon as possible. They can take up to 3 days just to prepare the shipment for sending. Next is the distance between the sellers store and buyer and the connection between their locations. It’s really hard to find a cost-effective and fast solution for shipment delivery on time, especially if we are talking about large parts like engines, landing gears, APUs, etc. Most of the companies are using DHL, UPS and FedEx and they are doing this part of the job the best way possible.
Also, incomplete documentation can extend delivery time as materials and parts can stay on customs for days. Customs is one of the problems that in some cases can make a lot of troubles regarding delivery time.
It has been announced that this market is going to reach 40 billion dollars yearly turnaround by 2025. That is a huge growth and we are sure it will face some more problems by then. But as it is for now aircraft parts and materials market is already facing some huge issues and we need to solve them before those become even bigger.
As we have already mentioned, soon this market will become more commercial than it is now. that will give more space for technology and innovations to solve these and many other strugglings that aircraft parts and materials market is facing right now.