Manugistics, Mxi Ally

Join forces to combine MRO, supply chain solutions for aviation industry

Ft. Lauderdale, FL — April 23, 2003 — Solution providers Manugistics and Mxi Technologies have joined forces to offer a solution designed to help aviation companies optimize maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and supply chain planning operations.

Manugistics offers supply chain management and logistics solutions, while Mxi Technologies specializes in aviation maintenance and engineering software. The two providers made their joint announcement at the recent MRO 2003 show, which is one of the largest industry events dedicated to the aviation maintenance sector.

The providers said in a statement that the combination of Mxi's Maintenix solution and Manugistics' supply chain optimization suite will allow carriers in the aviation business to improve service levels, increase asset utilization and improve operating margins.

As a solution designed to streamline asset maintenance programs, Maintenix creates plans for future scheduled maintenance based on calendar days, flying hours or cycles, which can be predicted based on expected flying patterns. Plans can then be adapted as changes to expected flight patterns take place. Maintenix captures point-of-maintenance data on in-service failures and non-routine work, allowing unscheduled maintenance to be predicted with confidence as well.

These deterministic and probabilistic demand signals can then drive supply chain optimization, utilizing Manugistics' solutions, which project demand for routine and non-routine materials and recommend an economical inventory planning strategy. Manugistics can also enable clients to automate communication with suppliers to produce an optimized fulfillment plan that can help assure that service targets are met at the lowest possible cost.

Doug Brouse, Mxi executive vice president, said that maintenance is a key area for airlines to reduce their cost structure. "The integration of maintenance and supply chain optimization has the potential to bring tremendous value to the aviation business," Brouse said.

Jeff Holmes, executive vice president and president of government, aerospace and defense for Manugistics, added that airline's costs are high when assets are out of service for maintenance. "Time is quite literally money for the airlines," Holmes said.

Dwight Klappich, senior program director with technology consultancy META Group, noted that a large portion of an airline's total costs are tied to asset utilization, maintenance and spares inventory. "Airlines need to reduce asset downtime through optimized maintenance planning, while also addressing strategic inventory planning and supplier management," he said. "Applying commercially available information technology to address these challenges represents a significant cost reduction opportunity for the aviation industry."

The Manugistics-Mxi announcement came at the same time that enterprise software company Oracle unveiled a new application module designed to help companies in the aerospace industry optimize maintenance operations. (See related story.)