AOG events are straight forward, you can’t plan for the event and it is here to stay. Best is to plan for response. As AOG motto of united Airlines states ‘Five minutes makes the difference’ response needed is within minutes. Airlines’ AOG desk role is significant in the recovery. AOG which is primarily a maintenance event also triggers the cascading supply chain events such as sourcing, logistics, payments & even reverse logistics of unserviceable items.
AOG desk faces the continuous streaming of information from different entities involved in the AOG recovery Ref Fig 1. Not all are available at ease, several minutes are spent with multiple systems, e-mails, phone calls for getting information on availability of airline Stock on AOG or nearby location, partner stock or pool stock availability at AOG location, sourcing through locator services, OEM stock availability, identifying the right shipping carrier, tracking ASN from supplier, tracking AWB till POD and so on..
Fig 1: AOG Desk Eco System
Can technology aid in building a connected Eco system? Can the interrelated systems be integrated processing the relevant information and in turn suggest recommendations to the AOG desk?
Today, intelligent MRO systems are expected to provide the recommendation instantaneously to Maintenance Control such as:
- Swapping from any other grounded aircraft or aircraft currently under base maintenance
- Possibility of expediting the Inspection and Certification if the Item is WIP at Receiving Bay or Shop etc..
These recommendations should consider the AOG Tail # and Part # Effectivity thereby condition the wrong part ending up in the hands of mechanic.
To reduce investment on spares parts but also achieve the availability of spares parts, airlines are entering into formal agreements with partner airlines, AOG parts support based on PBH, bilateral pool agreements or IATP agreements. AOG event trigger should instantaneously process the demand and recommend the best option to meet the demand based on the preset agreements.
Here comes BOTS to the rescue of AOG.. Welcome to World of Bots
With real-time access to the partner stock available in AOG location, request for part can be automatically triggered through text or email messaging systems. If the parts support is provided by the pool agreements, order notification can be triggered well in advance through any of the communication channel depicted in Fig-2, with paper work to follow later.Fig 2: BOTS for AOG Recovery
In locations where the AOG part support is not available or expected lead time is high, one of the option is to check with part locator service. Integrated eco system will aid the AOG desk to send the RFQ through the chat windows within their MRO system and get the response on availability, lead time, price, certification and payments terms instantaneously. Decision to buy can be advised through messaging chat to auto create purchase order and transmit through B2B EDI if the supplier is enabled or auto transmit the purchase order copy through mail.
In circumstance when the airline need to expedite an order or place a new order with supplier to meet the AOG requirements, the onus on arranging the best possible shipment from the OEM to the AOG location lies with the AOG desk. MRO system is expected to connect, retrieve and process real time data stream from various sources including own airline flight schedule systems , other airlines flight schedule systems, shipping carrier systems and provide the best option to ship considering the HAZMAT /Oversize nature of the Part #. It is also expected system to learn from the AOG desk if the suggested option is selected or rejected.
Through interface with OEM system advance shipping note can be received along with the AWB # of the shipping carrier. Large shipping carriers provides the full visibility of the AWB # tracking status. Continuous streaming of AWB status is expected to get processed and any deviation from the original delivery time which may affect the AOG recovery shall be escalated to the AOG desk through a messaging system.
While relationships between the AOG desk still matters, the most effective AOG desks leverage technology to provide them with decision assist capability for driving down their minutes for AOG recovery. It’s no more the Information is available to AOG desk and waiting for a response, the future of MRO systems is expected to take decision on behalf of AOG desk and keep learning to refine their decisions.