An article by David Baum in Oracle’s PROFIT magazine says, “Korean Air’s new aircraft and engine maintenance system allows production personnel to instantly create engine maintenance plans against flight schedules and to analyze maintenance costs within three hours.” That’s an impressive statistic and Enigma is proud to have played a significant role, as a partner to Oracle, in helping KAL to achieve it.
KAL’s new maintenance system went live in 2011, as reported by Gartner, and is a combination of Oracle cMRO and Enigma InService® MRO. Prior to this, KAL realized that their legacy maintenance system could not keep up with the demand for faster service, more scheduling flexibility and increasingly complex troubleshooting and repair procedures. KAL described the role Enigma played in helping them optimize maintenance execution, at the Aircraft Commerce show in APAC last year. However, the inventory part of the KAL story has not yet been told.
According to the PROFIT article, every month KAL moves about 12,000 parts through inventory as part of their normal maintenance procedures. Unfortunately, “the legacy maintenance system did not provide detailed information about required materials at the time purchase requests were made. Lack of integration with the core ERP systems limited visibility and led to inaccurate purchase requests.” But solving this problem is more complicated than integrating to ERP. The real problem stems from the way in which new/revised part requirements are communicated to the airlines. Specific parts requirements are frequently buried within several different types of documentation, and part numbers are often tied to certain tail-numbers of aircraft (tail number effectivity). As a result, every ninety days when documents are revised there is a chance that the allowable parts for any given aircraft may also change.
The traditional way of updating the allowable parts list, kept in the ERP and inventory system, is to have someone review all the new documentation and manually make the changes. This is tedious work, and over time errors can creep into the ERP system. One of the advantages to using Enigma is that it quickly identifies all the changes in each revision of the documentation. Any changes to maintenance procedures can be flagged and used to automatically update maintenance job cards. Just as important, any changes to parts requirements can be flagged and used to automatically update the ERP and inventory system.
When a maintenance organization like KAL uses 12,000 parts a month, ensuring that procurement and logistics is ordering the right parts and positioning them in the right places is critical to success. The article quotes GyooYeon Cho, managing vice president of maintenance planning at Korean Air as saying, “Thanks to the increased accuracy of the maintenance planning operation, Korean Air has reduced its cost for materials and labor…We achieved significant improvements in preventive maintenance and can better plan the capacity of human resources and material resources in advance. We always have the proper inventory of parts, components, and materials on hand. This will reduce the cost of the maintenance operation.”
While Enigma isn’t specifically mentioned in the PROFIT article (it is an Oracle publication after all) our role is well-known by Oracle and KAL executives, and we are proud to have been a part of this impressive success at Korean Airlines.