Transport and distribution giant Kuehne + Nagel has launched at AIX what it calls the “first end-to-end logistics solution” for interiors manufacturers, airlines, and maintenance, repair and overhaul organisations working on aircraft refurbishments.

The service – InteriorChain – is a response to the growing frequency of cabin refits, and the importance of minimising the time any aircraft spends out of revenue service, says Erik Goedhart, senior vice president and global head of aerospace and industrials. “There is a tenseness on the supply chain like never before,” he says.

Although the Switzerland-based company has worked in aerospace for 20 years, this is its first “targeted solution” for the sector, he says. The project – backed by a “substantial investment” in IT – has been in development for around 12 months.

The impetus for the launch came from a long-term contract Kuehne + Nagel had with Swiss MRO provider SR Technics. “We worked with them on an ad hoc basis, and laterally on a programme with an [Airbus] A320 customer,” says Goedhart. “We learned that the whole refurbishment industry is a push industry. In other words, vendors use their logistics provider to ship to the MRO’s facility. We wanted to turn it into a project pull philosophy, with the MRO giving us their bill of lading, and we run it from their side. We ask them to ask their vendors to deviate from their normal relationships.”

He says that the MRO and interiors industry has not paid enough attention to potential savings that can be made from streamlining logistics. “Aerospace supply chains are still very old fashioned. We are positioned to lead the transformation in the logistics area,” he adds.

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Source: Flight Daily News