Aircraft Hardware West – Continuous Improvement through Safran VMI Re-Design

Aircraft Hardware West (AHW) has been an elite partner and member of Safran’s aircraft seat manufacturing hardware supply chain since 2008. These long-term contracts have been delivered through traditional logistics methodologies and, since 2015, more advanced inventory management delivery models. Safran Seats has a strong international presence on three continents and in five countries around the world, France, United States, Mexico, Tunisia and within the United Kingdom. Since the implementation of AHW’s Advanced Inventory Management Solution (AIMS) at Safran’s U.S. and Mexico facilities, AHW has been delivering thousands of unique aerospace part numbers and related hardware through their customized Twin-Bin system. These Twin-Bin racks have been strategically located throughout their production facilities to optimize efficiencies and are controlled by their integrated Remote Inventory Management (RMI) platform.

Working with the Safran’s production engineers and workflow analysts, and in their tradition of continuous improvement, AHW has recently completed a re-design and phase II implementation of this VMI model.  Through lessons learned in the Chihuahua production areas, the distributed Twin-Bin model of locating parts in 5 different production areas has been re-deployed with physical hardware and distribution logistics controlled from a single location within the Safran Chihuahua facility.  This single location distributes the appropriate parts and quantities to production areas around the facility. Along with the physical re-design of these racks, the logical and process workflow components of the solutions were re-designed to provide optimum operational effectiveness and control of this centralized model.

The new delivery model is using Safran’s proprietary Andon request management system. This is an integrated hardware request and logistics platform that uses real-time data inputs with video monitors in the centralized location to initiate the request. This automation has greatly increased the efficiencies of delivering parts to the needed areas when they are required.

Frank Ioffrida, CEO and founder of AHW say, “Safran is equipping over one million seats for the fleets of all the major airlines and is one of the world’s leading suppliers of seating for passengers, crews and helicopters. AHW’s is one of only 2 suppliers, globally, that provides hardware for these seat manufacturing production areas. As part of this select group of vendors, we wanted to bring Safran innovative and high-value solutions. We see this re-design as the expected evolution of our service model to Safran. As we get smarter about the way Safran operates, we will continue to evolve our services to support their business needs. A key result of this re-design is to provide Safran with no ownership of the hardware until it is actually issued to them and delivered to their production areas. This significantly reduces their cost of hardware ownership”.

Krista Wildermuth, Director of Operations, who managed the re-design and physical deployment of the centralized solutions added,” I want to emphasize that the physical changes made were only a part of this deployment. The re-design of processes and systems to support both the operational model and the analytics & reporting were just as critical. We wanted to assure that parts would get to the required areas in the required quantities when they were needed.  We also wanted to provide meaningful data back to Safran that would support their current and future production demands”.  She goes on to say, “The concept of Continuous Improvement is very important to us. We foster a culture, throughout AHW, that requires our teams to look at new and innovative ways to deliver value to our customers. By doing so, we not only delight our customers but positively impact our bottom line. That’s a win-win”.

Aircraft Hardware West is a full-service provider of hardware and related services to the aircraft and commercial industries with main HQs in Long Beach, CA. Aircraft Hardware West believes that a comprehensive inventory management solution and timely delivery of hardware, at competitive pricing, are only the beginning of what they have to offer. AHW can be a trusted partner in the success of your business. For more information on any of our products or our Advanced Inventory Management Solutions, please contact info@ahw-global.com

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Aircraft Hardware West, Inc.

2180 Temple Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90804

Ph: (562) 961-9324
Fax: (562) 961-9286