Compiling our biennial Top 10 airframe MRO article instills in me a mix of enthusiasm and trepidation.
The best part of the project is that I get to interact with MROs from around the world to gain a deeper understanding of what is driving your business. So, thanks to all of you who endured my countless e-mails and phone calls over the last two months and participated in this year's survey.
The trepidation partly stems from trying to ensure that I've encompassed every MRO in the survey. Did every company respond? No. However, the majority did, and I polled dozens of smaller MROs this year, too, to try to provide a better gauge of how the global commercial aviation airframe MRO market is doing.
While I hope you value the Top 10 feature, let's proactively engage in the Socratic method.
We launched our Top 10 Airframe MRO feature more than a decade ago, when the aftermarket was not as integrated and globally connected as it is now. The industry has become much smarter and provides a plethora of integrated—yet tailored—solutions which can include engineering and logistics services for customers. While airframe MRO obviously is vital, and always will be, component and engine maintenance generates higher margins.
Four years ago we added revenue figures, and we have always tried to continuously improve the information we present, but is it time for us to overhaul this project? What would be the most valuable—and interesting—to you? How should we rank MROs? What parameters should we include?
In other words, what would make this the most insightful business barometer?
Switching gears, would you please also provide your input on the following? While researching our Top 10 feature, I learned that several MROs that have undertaken Lean and process improvement projects are now looking into tool control—from deploying technology to reduce time searching for tools to linking tool use to repair-flow metrics. I could not find much information on this subject, so we launched a survey to lay the groundwork for this resource. Would you please fill out this Web-based questionnaire, which will take less than 5 min.? http://www.aviationweek.com/mro/mrotoolcontrolsurvey.aspx
I will include the results in our September issue.