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Aeronautics: Mastering Your Data, the Key to Competitiveness

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Between oversupply, supply difficulties and resource shortages, challenges are constantly increasing for the aviation sector, whose order book is always full. With deadlines increasingly difficult to meet, the supply chain needs to – among other things – improve the management of data flows to best meet the expectations of the sector.

Data in flight service

In the heart of a sector where technology is the hallmark to build the most efficient devices possible, sharing the right information within the sector is a real challenge. In fact, the path of data in aeronautics is not entirely linear, and not all players in the sector have the same information in time. And when this applies to several hundred different partners, the efficiency of the firm can suffer.

In the worst case, the parts manufactured are poorly made and do not meet the company’s initial demand, thus being able to compromise the entire production process. In other cases, suppliers and subcontractors do not receive the information in a timely manner and thus it is difficult to predict future operations. This delay is most noticeable in the context of increasing production rates.

A manufacturer cannot be a prisoner of some form of uncertainty regarding the smooth running of its production. It is therefore necessary to link all the actors together so that the information transmitted is the same from one end of the chain to the other. This is why manufacturers think about their information system and especially about better data qualification.

Follow-up efforts to digitize the sector

This challenge, and the managers have incorporated it well. We are witnessing a phase of consolidation in this sector, initiated notably by the latter in search of increased production and economic improvement. To avoid having a large number of interlocutors, manufacturers ask their partners to meet in groups in order to enhance vertical and horizontal communication and thus improve the distribution of tasks. Demand that nonetheless means making more or less large investments on a digital level. If some communication tools are already in the aviation sector as one approaches the principles, the note is not the same at the end of the chain. Which is normal if we take into account the financial differences of different players. Therefore, managers and organizations have every interest in enhancing the accessibility of solutions.

Getting good data requires sharing data that is also of good quality. So manufacturers must democratize the use of enterprise management solutions (ERP), an IOT (Internet of Things) platform within their supply chain, or even an EDI platform or supplier portal. Complementary, these tools transfer large amounts of data in multiple formats and sources. It guarantees automatic transmission to Quality data to partner groups, who then allocate tasks within their ecosystem. For each of the requests submitted, there is a certain amount of information to communicate so that each interested actor can update the status of the request in real time. Sector stakes also exist at the level of group companies that must standardize information and communicate it to other entities either through the ERP Group or thanks to the data regulators.

With the growth of data flows, it is imperative that the entire sector be able to rely on sufficient technological strength, capable of giving a global view of the data in circulation.

Of course, data security is a natural consequence of these developments, but improved competitiveness, better collaboration among all players in the aviation industry, and improved business operations are the desired effects of adopting these solutions. Therefore, the overall performance of the aviation supply chain is strongly related to each player’s data flow management ability. In conclusion, consolidation of the aviation sector – which is desired by the entire sector – makes possible operational and economic efficiency gains.

Column written by: Guillaume Charpentier, Director of Aero Offerings for 4CAD Group

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