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Faculty Member Helps Major Aviation MRO Company Optimize Management Decisions

Murat Erkoc, an associate professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Industrial Engineering, and his team of graduate students at the Center for Advanced Supply Chain Management (CASCM) developed a proprietary data analytics model and software for AAR Landing Gear Services. AAR, which provides commercial, defense industry and government aviation services around the world, uses the tool to effectively monitor, control and plan its workflows and business decisions. The tool employs automated performance measures and decision support tools to capture the overall picture of the system, provide insight into the company’s process and subsequently improve it.

Current version of the tool helps AAR effectively monitor and control flows of work-orders and tasks, reduce turnaround times, optimize work-force management and ensure customer satisfaction for its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations. Its MRO operations are responsible for supplying fully serviceable aircrafts at affordable and reasonable costs, with optimal quality. Doing so requires effective planning and control, which is more challenging in MRO than in traditional production systems.

Erkoc’s software compiles accurate data on the state of AAR’s MRO operations, including workload, capabilities and costs. It analyzes that data through the lens of “lean” production and service-delivery practices – aiming to maximize customer value through ever-more proficient service and faster service delivery times, while minimizing waste.

The software also includes dashboards that display real-time data that help the company optimize management decisions for lean delivery of its MRO services, keep on top of revenue streams and monitor other actionable information. Dashboards also provide regional and supporting departments tracking, and the software can provide projections and indicators for order deliveries and potential delays. It also includes a business revenue management component, which uses analytics to optimize product availability and price to maximize revenue growth – helping AAR sell the right product to the right customer at the right time for the right price.

The data analytics model and tool provide valuable information that can be used to support and automate cost-benefit analyses, bottleneck identification and integrated decision-making. By helping identify waste and inefficiencies, as well as providing real-time information on outcomes, it also provides a practical framework for establishing an effective Lean Program that focuses on waste reduction. And, the software can be used a support tool for business development and marketing.

The research team led by Erkoc designed the tool to allow for continuous improvement of its existing components and addition of new modules. In the future, he hopes to establish the groundwork for an all-inclusive, performance measurement instrument and an integrated optimization model. Ultimately, the tool should provide the company with a global view for business contract development, lead times, capacity and workforce planning, operations scheduling, as well as inventory control for scraps and expendables. All of this supports AAR Landing Gear Services’ larger goal of continuing to be a leader in aviation services.

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