Global MRO marketplace is an ecosystem of interconnected supply chain and repair stations to perform heavy maintenance, line maintenance, aircraft completions, interiors, paint, component repairs, part-out, teardown, and recycling. MRO is the backbone of the aviation industry’s orderly operation – general, commercial, and defense sectors. Digital transformation is not something new for the MRO industry; infact, IT has a long history of providing critical support over the years.
Digital transformation has helped the industry survive and thrive in this fast-changing and competitive marketplace in developing operation strategies, i.e., effective supply chains and turnaround time.
According to globalnewswire report, The digital MRO market is projected to grow from USD 1.0 billion in 2019 to USD 4.7 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 14.6% from 2019 to 2030. The increasing digitalization of MRO to increase efficiency and reduce aircraft downtime is the key factor expected to fuel the growth of the digital MRO market. However, limited budgets that restrain the adoption of MRO hurdle the development of this market.
As stated in the same report, Digital transformation in Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) includes the digitalization of MROs. It provides cloud- or system-based software to coordinate, monitor, and improve all processes related to aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul. Digital MRO software comprises various functions that include aircraft handling, safety & security services, workforce management, sales & marketing, and hangar operations, enhanced with analytics. The software majorly utilizes the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, and Big Data analytics on the historical and real-time generated data. Such data helps in predictive maintenance to reduce cost and aircraft downtime.
Mobile applications are leading the race of digital transformation in the MRO sector. It improves cycle time, increases revenue, and reduces cost with correct implementation and training. Let’s have a look at the kind of mobile applications ruling the MRO sector:
Customer Service Apps
There are now apps available for the customer representatives to serve the customers better by resolving their queries from anywhere they want. These apps make information like price checking, availability of parts or repair services, placing orders or obtaining the pending delivery status, available on the go, and now, the reps need not sit in front of the computer all the time to get the same.
Supply Chain Apps
Supply chain applications are making the life of supply chain specialists much easier and freer than before. These applications enable the reps to check the store and research material for critical repairs. In the unavailability scenario, they can search for sources and place orders with features like ILS. Supply chain applications also help in making entries for receiving stock and updating the stocking bin. These applications also help conduct inventory cycle count from time to time, ensuring an accurate and reliable inventory level.
Labor collection and WIP accounting
These applications are boon for independent MROs since it is used for maintaining accurate WIP accounting. Mechanics can now record the time they work or their tasks, and the firms can use it to optimize and find accurate costing, hence increasing their efficiency and profit.
The MRO industry, still almost excessively dependent on human labor and roughly a decade behind sectors such as pharmaceuticals or banking in terms of technology adoption.
Read more about the rise of augmented reality and remote assistance in the MRO Sector: https://www.coppermobile.com/blog/rise-of-augmented-reality/
These MRO technologies promise to completely change the way the industry operates, spurring a potential shift from the human touch to human-led. Let’s have a look:
Robotics is one of the fastest-growing MRO Technologies, which is not used quite frequently now but has enormous future potential. Robotic is gaining popularity in the current scenario, as skilled labor is in short supply, and labor cost is increasing. Robots are usually used to inspect the components that cannot be accessed by humans easily.
Additive manufacturing is already gaining popularity in the MRO sector. AM refers to computer-aided-design (CAD) software or 3D object scanner to create 3D printed goods.
Additive manufacturing enables the industry to print substantial, durable, and lightweight replacement parts that are quick and affordable and reduce the cost for maintenance providers.
Analytics, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
Another leading trend in the MRO sector is data analytics, AI, and machine learning technologies. With optimum availability of data from sensors and data routers, the MRO industry sits on the massive potential of improving processes. Thus, there is a huge demand and need to grind this data for useful insights and use it. This is where these technologies come into play.
Read more about the future of MRO Category Management:
The opportunities are enormous for the MRO sector, given that the industry tackles the challenges, adapt to the changing world, and seize disruptive technologies. The upcoming year seems to be a crucial year to get a head start and put in technologies and processes that can deliver data-driven efficiencies and, thus, can lead the industry on the path of success.