Air Transport World

Same tune, different arrangement: with fewer players, Internet exchanges are attempting to regain their footing and expand services.(IT--Supply Chain)

Remember way back in the late 1990s when aviation e-marketplaces were going to revolutionize the supply chain, saving airlines and OEMs millions of dollars in procurement and administrative crests? The whole pitch sounded too good to be true. Well, it was half-true. The need for a cost-efficient supply chain linking buyers and suppliers exists as much, if not more, today as during the rollicking 1990s when the lure of sky-high IPOs drove almost everybody with a computer and modem line to declare they were e-businesses.

Typically, the administrative costs for obtaining aircraft parts the old-fashioned way can run upwards of 35%, according to procurement experts. Thus Internet exchanges may become the preferred buying tool by necessity despite the disappointments of yesteryear. Increased outsourcing of MRO functions and associated inventory management also could spur more participation by online businesses and the software that supports them.

But airlines still must guarantee the airworthiness of their aircraft and that will require software for consumable/rotable/expendable items, parts and supply chain management, maintenance production scheduling and pricing. A smaller, more sober-minded field of Internet exchanges could help the business as well. Gone are e-marketplaces like Cordiem, the end result of the 2001 merger of Myaircraft. …

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