When is Initial Provisioning the right option for you?

Solutions and services | Mar 11, 2020 | By Satair | 4 min read

No matter the size of an airline, it's essential to determine the right size of spare parts inventory that is needed to achieve the desired service level. But how can you determine whether the investment in an Initial Provisioning is the right solution for your airline?

Every airline operation is different, with unique material requirements, whether it be mature or new fleets, or integrating new aircraft or entire fleets through mergers or acquisitions. The process and investment of initial provisioning can seem extensive in comparison to the relatively hands-off power-by-the-hour approach.

However, in contrast, Initial Provisioning provides peace of mind in removing many external factors that could disrupt operations. 

So when is Initial Provisioning the right option for you? That is precisely what we aim to outline in this article.

Effective Supply Management: How initial Provisioning can create a culture of efficiency


New aircraft, old aircraft, or a state-of-the-art fleet?

In most cases, Initial Provisioning (IP) applies to the purchase of new aircraft or fleets in order to predetermine the right spares tailored to the aircraft or the fleets operational needs. Yet, it is not limited to them. In fact, re-provisioning partnerships for mature or previously owned aircraft have some advantages over new-aircraft/fleet IP services.

The provisioning period for previously owned aircraft and the IP set-up process may be much shorter than with purchasing new-build aircraft. If an airline acquires additional aircraft second hand and/or through secondary lease agreements, they will require the information for provisioning immediately as the lead-time for entry into service will be shortened.

While the initial investment adds the cost of procurement, IP partnerships can provide you peace of mind by providing a host of services not available through "power-by-the-hour" services. 24-hour access to a dedicated inventory pool of selected high-value, dispatch-critical components. A decrease in the cost of maintenance material by enabling advanced early purchasing—most IP packages offer the best market price guarantees. And prevention of delays during maintenance event due to missing material, to name a few.

Is Initial Provisioning an investment in peace of mind?

Getting down to brass tacks, the main factor that determines whether you should opt for an IP partnership is whether you have the initial investment funds for spares strategy, procurement and holdings.

Short-term to Long-term material management

When it comes to inefficient stocking policies, one of the most common causes is the reliance on inefficient processes, because "that is just how it has always been."

Initial Provisioning can provide you with an opportunity to improve material management methodologies and ensure that the short-term initial provisioning process extends into positive long-term inventory habits.

Getting an accurate spare part list

The Recommended Spare Parts List (RSPL) is an essential part of the initial provisioning process, and there are some practical considerations when going into the process.  

The Definitive Guide to Initial Provisioning of spare parts

Early life requirements sometimes anticipate higher initial failure rates that will occur, leading to a long term overstocking of parts. Inventory levels are frequently based on vendors' recommendations and are not conscientiously reviewed after commissioning. 

The challenge for aircraft manufacturers in drafting an accurate RSPL is to have access to the right information and to be able to test the proposed stock policies for sensitivity to extreme uncertainty in demand rate and resupply time.

Ensuring Success: Planning your Material Readiness Roadmap

Traditionally, Initial Provisioning utilises a form of regression analytics to model count data and contingency tables called "Poisson regression." This approach calculates inventory quantities separately for each part number and consolidates different operations based in one central location.

While this model is the industry standard, there are proposals of simulation-based Initial Provisioning models that handle multi-location inventory.

With the level of data that is available currently, data analysts have a robust set of datasets to propose highly accurate RSPLs. Still, in any case, it is wise to understand and ask questions about what analytical models they use to determine that list.