In the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) world, time is of the essence. Few can afford lengthy waits for needed parts, tools or hardware and everyone wants to avoid grounded aircraft that can quickly incur massive costs.
With the value of time hardly a secret in our industry, why then do so many airlines continue to waste time using ineffective methods to source and purchase what they need?
Many parts buyers waste time trying to track down what they need across various platforms. It’s an inefficient, outdated approach that requires navigating different systems and placing orders in all manner of ways. While some parts can be ordered with a click of a mouse, others still require phone calls, requests for proposals and follow-up correspondence.
It’s a drawn-out process that has been made even worse by the job cuts – and corresponding loss of institutional knowledge – the industry incurred during the pandemic.
One-stop shop for buyers
Allan Uldahl Riis, the Director of Commercial Strategic Programmes at Satair, hears from many customers who are frustrated with this haphazard approach. As the sole provider of Airbus Proprietary Parts, Satair has a large customer base that relies on the company to fulfil Airbus-related orders. But Riis said that many customers have expressed that they want Satair to do even more and better help them source the parts they need when they need them.
Enter the Satair Marketplace, which Riis said was brought into existence by customer demand.
“We have an extensive customer base that was already coming to us for Airbus parts. But for other parts, they have had to search around on various e-platforms,” he said. “We created the Satair Marketplace to serve as a one-stop shop. Rather than having to use multiple providers, they can just get everything within one portal.”
Riis stressed that when says “everything”, he means it. Although Satair has made its name selling new Airbus Proprietary Parts and consumables and expendables (C&E) parts, it has long since expanded its offering in order to include other OEM proprietary parts as well as used serviceable material (USM) and surplus parts. The Marketplace is also expanding into other areas like chemicals, standard hardware and engines.
Riis said it’s all part of meeting customers’ demands.
“It’s much more efficient for the customer to just deal with one provider, especially when it’s one that they already know and trust,” he said.
Transparency and efficiency
In a customer study conducted earlier this year, Satair found that parts buyers want a digital marketplace that is easy to use, that only offers products from reliable sellers and that can provide peace of mind in the form of certification and other paperwork. Customers also expressed frustration with “ghost listings”, when sellers list parts that they don’t actually have in stock.
“This is very frustrating for buyers, especially now that the parts buyers aren’t holding onto stock like they used to,” he said.
When parts are listed on the Satair Marketplace, buyers can rest easy knowing that they are actually there.
The Satair Marketplace allows for a transparent end-to-end process between buyers and approved third-party sellers. It's easy to search and find the needed part and buyers know exactly what they are getting because they can see photos of the part, find its serial number and any relevant test reports. With buyers and sellers able to quickly get a sense of supply and demand for any given part, both sides also have insights into pricing.
“Downstream customers have no time to waste on inefficient processes,” Riis said. “With the Satair Marketplace, we can continue to directly provide our customers with what they need, when they need it. And if we don’t have the part, we can quickly connect them with a verified seller that does.”