Raytheon's e-commerce site for general aviation aircraft parts is rolling out its service globally, six months earlier than planned, due to higher than anticipated demand."

Since 14 July, customers have been able to use a pull-down menu to make international orders on the site," says John Carroll, general manager of EverythingAircraft.com. "Previously they had to ring up."

The initial expectation was that the site would attract 99% of its sales from US buyers, he says. However, when the site was launched in April, of the 286,000 hits registered that month, 30% were from overseas. "Clearly a lot of hits in the early days were from people who were curious, but nonetheless we were very surprised," he says. The reaction prompted EverythingAircraft to bring forward its international sales debut from the end of 2000 to July.

After a couple of months, EverythingAircraft has settled down to around 30,000-40,000 hits per month, of which about 10% result in sales.

But, Carroll stresses, the site is not encouraging buyers too much yet. "We are not targeting buyers as much as suppliers. The main emphasis is to make sure we have all the parts available on-line," he says.


"We don¹t want people to be disappointed if not all the parts they want are there. Our goal is to sign up a reasonable number of suppliers to reach a critical mass where the buyer can find 80% of the parts he needs."

So far, EverythingAircraft is over half way to reaching this critical mass, and aims to reach this level by the end of August.

"Our goal is to be one of the major GA suppliers, serving the entire GA community on an equal footing. This means not just Raytheon aircraft, but Cessna, Piper, Gulfstream and everyone else. We want to be known as an honest broker, and Raytheon will not get preferential treatment at all. "We have to convince suppliers to try it and see if it works. It is a completely different way of doing business, and for a lot of suppliers it is terrifying to put their prices on line so everyone can see them.

Losing business

"The first suppliers to take that step are setting the pace and the ones not coming on board are losing business," he says.Suppliers benefit from being paid in a timely manner by EverythingAircraft, which has guaranteed to pay them every month. It can do this because it does not ship a part unless it has been paid for. For buyers the site offers an alternative to traditional "phone around" purchasing methods, but is not for the OAG situation where parts are urgently needed and must be ordered instantly for speedy delivery.

But delivery is an essential element of EverythingAircraft, and the site shows not only prices, but part availability, he says.

In terms of savings, Carroll believes that a 30% saving off previously quoted prices is a fair estimate. He bases this on experience gained in a just-in-time supply chain management system for the US military.

Source: Flight Daily News