Airlines Gain Efficiencies Using AI to Procure Aircraft Parts

June 17, 2024
Aircraft parts that cost less than $5,000 make up more than 90 percent of the purchasing volume, according to  SkySelect. For greater efficiency, the company advocates letting artificial intelligence automate these lower cost purchases.
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Aircraft parts that cost less than $5,000 make up more than 90 percent of the purchasing volume, according to  SkySelect. For greater efficiency, the company advocates letting artificial intelligence (AI) automate these lower cost purchases.

Skyselect offers procurement AI, software and people designed to make purchasing fast and easy. 

A SkySelect spokesperson clarified: "Depending on the category of parts up to 70-90% of the purchases can be fully automated. 10-30% of the parts can get curated for various reasons (for example a part is not available or the lead time is longer than expected or the order is getting delayed). Typically in case of curations people get involved by approving or rejecting the purchases or providing more information from the engineering team."

Partnering with over 2,500 suppliers covering a range of part categories, SkySelect assists airlines and MRO customers with routine, urgent and AOG requirements.

Moving away from emails, spreadsheets and manual data entry, SkySelect's purchasing system processes thousands of part requirements, automating the process from a requirement to sourcing, ordering and shipment tracking. AI takes a company’s business rules and part requirements, matches them with the best inventory available and consolidates the parts into orders. 

SkySelect recently helped JetBlue and Avianca through digital transformations and scale their operations to support hundreds of aircraft.

“We love working with airlines with the size and statute of JetBlue and Avianca because it shows off the true abilities of rocurement AI,” said Tulika Dayal, CXO & co-founder at SkySelect.

A lot of JetBlue Airways sourcing was able to be automated. Nicole Mena, a buyer for JetBlue, said she could process three to four times as many part requirements before working with SkySelect.

“We’ve significantly boosted our productivity by automating low-dollar, high-volume part transactions, and focusing our time and effort on high-value tasks. We are a small team in comparison to our fleet size of nearly 300 aircraft,” she said.

SkySelect also improved processes within organization at Avianca, “specifically in the supply chain," said Luis Angel Rodriguez Molano, Avianca technical procurement coordinator. “Over the past year, we have dedicated ourselves to enhancing operational efficiency and effectiveness through process evaluation, optimization and automation. SkySelect has been an important part of our procurement workflows, providing us access to an increased network of suppliers and offering innovative procurement solutions tailored to our specific needs. Through our partnership, we have significantly reduced procurement cycle times, improved inventory management, and realized cost savings through competitive pricing and strategic sourcing strategies.”

SkySelect offers airlines a two-week pilot during which SkySelect configures the platform to the airline's processes and business requirements. No integration is required to get started. Looking at a defined scope of demand, SkySelect says airlines can see benefits including reduced purchasing cycle time, increased efficiency and increased in cost savings.

The results of the pilot can then become the basis for a business case from which a long-term roadmap is defined. Airlines can go directly from the pilot to live engagement. Without stopping the automation, the full integrations are worked on and tailored to the airlines' systems. 


AI procurement since 2017

SkySelect's procurement AI platform for aircraft parts purchasing has processed $5 billion in aircraft parts transactions since inception in 2017.

"We are witnessing a pivotal moment in the aviation industry. The convergence of lessons learned from the pandemic, the ongoing recovery in air travel, increased interest in emerging technology, and the need for more efficient and flexible operations have all led to a sharp rise in demand for our procurement platform,” said Nauman Saeed, chief operating officer, SkySelect.

“It's evident that airlines and MROs must revise their operational methods, and technologies such as procurement AI have transitioned from being optional conveniences to indispensable tools for thriving in today's environment.”

About the Author

Rebecca Kanable | Assistant Editor

Rebecca Kanable, a veteran journalist, joined Endeavor Business Media's aviation group in 2021. She has worked for various publications, including trade magazines and newspapers.

Contact: Rebecca (Becky) Kanable

Assistant Editor of Airport Business, AMT, Ground Support Worldwide 

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