Aviation maintenance becomes more complex owing to the volatility of prices of aviation parts. Vendors keep changing the prices regularly and these are often decided based on the lead time demanded and the proprietary nature of the part. The volatile prices make the purchasing process of airlines inefficient, leading to exceptions and creating financial problems for the operator. Moreover frequent changes to the pricing make it difficult to maintain current and updated price list.
Conventional way of ordering is to either request for the quote (RFQ) from the supplier, receive the quotes and based on the quote place the order, or look for the current catalog price in the supplier portal and place the purchase order. RFQ based ordering increases the procurement TAT and can be used only when sufficient lead time is available. While the portal based query and raising PO reduces the TAT to a large extent, the challenge is the availability of the latest price for the part in the operators IT system, especially when there is no previous order for the part.
Relief comes in a way of the parts supplier publishing the entire catalog price list periodically in ATA 200 / SPEC 2000 format. ATA 200 establishes a standard Integrated Data Processing System designed to streamline supply chain transactions within the air transportation industry. This information is available in data (.txt) files hosted from the vendor or the industry association for downloads by the airline operators.
The MRO IT system of airline operators should be capable of reading this information and update the relevant Part price list of the vendor and use this seamlessly in the downstream procurement process.
Today, airlines are leveraging EDI transmission of purchase orders using SPEC 2000 capabilities of their IT MRO system. A good IT MRO system should automatically pick the current catalog price of the vendor considering the quantity price breaks and enforce minimum order quantity (MOQ) restrictions and completely avoid non-standard package quantity orders.
Ramco Aviation Suite of M&E/MRO and ERP solutions has complete support for ATA 200/SPEC2000 standards and is used by airlines across the world to automatically ingest the ATA 200 price data and utilize it during the procurement process. These customers have reaped considerable benefits in overall reduction in the order exceptions and reduced internal ordering TAT.