Designing a support system for aerospace maintenance supply chains

Michael MacDonnell*, Ben Clegg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - To develop a systems strategy for supply chain management in aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). Design/methodology/approach - A standard systems development methodology has been followed to produce a process model (i.e. the AMSCR model); an information model (i.e. business rules) and a computerised information management capability (i.e. automated optimisation). Findings - The proof of concept for this web-based MRO supply chain system has been established through collaboration with a sample of the different types of supply chain members. The proven benefits comprise new potential to minimise the stock holding costs of the whole supply chain whilst also minimising non-flying time of the aircraft that the supply chain supports. Research limitations/implications - The scale of change needed to successfully model and automate the supply chain is vast. This research is a limited-scale experiment intended to show the power of process analysis and automation, coupled with strategic use of management science techniques, to derive tangible business benefit. Practical implications - This type of system is now vital in an industry that has continuously decreasing profit margins; which in turn means pressure to reduce servicing times and increase the mean time between them. Originality/value - Original work has been conducted at several levels: process, information and automation. The proof-of-concept system has been applied to an aircraft MRO supply chain. This is an area of research that has been neglected, and as a result is not well served by current systems solutions. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-152
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Technology Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2007


  • aerospace industry
  • inventory
  • maintenance
  • supply chain management


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