Oracle Debuts MRO App

New module for maintenance, repair and overhaul operations targets aerospace industry

Ft. Lauderdale, FL — April 16, 2003 — Enterprise software company Oracle took advantage of the MRO 2003 conference here this week to debut a new application module designed to help companies in the aerospace industry optimize maintenance operations.

Oracle said its Complex Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) application module, developed specifically for the aviation, aerospace and defense industries, is intended to help companies improve operating efficiencies and reduce overall costs by streamlining business processes, maintaining complex configurations and effectively planning enterprisewide operations.

Target customers for the new module include airlines, third-party maintenance firms, armed forces, government contractors and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

The new module, a component of Oracle's Supply Chain Management suite, offers a Web-based solution that integrates with other areas of a company's supply chain to automate and enhance processes critical to the MRO cycle.

The system is built on top of a single, global database, and it allows users to plan, execute and analyze maintenance processes based on real-time information spanning organizational operations, including manufacturing, inventory, logistics, human resources and financials.

Redwood Shores, Calif-based Oracle said Complex MRO could help companies accomplish the following functions:

  • Maintain Complex Configurations: The solution is designed to help companies manage component lifecycle tracking and overcome the manual, redundant and time-intensive challenges traditionally associated with configuration history. Master configurations are established and requirements automatically flow to all units based on the master template, allowing configuration history to be maintained automatically as changes are made. In addition, users have the ability to classify fleets into smaller groups and automatically flow requirements to all units in that group.

  • Plan Enterprisewide Operations: The new module enables long- and short-term fleet and unit-based maintenance planning and scheduling. When integrated with the supply chain, the solution allows inventory and resource planning to be performed simultaneously to ensure part, resource and facility availability. With centralized spare parts management, users have the potential to avoid shortages by ensuring the right parts are available at the right time in the right place.

  • Optimize Maintenance Execution: Oracle said that Complex MRO is intended to streamline and simplify maintenance execution processes by providing a complete business flow, including creating work orders, deploying resources and completing repairs, updating maintenance history and configurations and returning aircraft to service. Users can execute against maintenance needs that are planned (overhauls, letter checks, deferrals) and unplanned (log book items, non-routine tasks, condition monitoring).

  • Centralize Critical Data: The solution gives users the ability to create, store and manage all data in a single, global repository, providing "one version of truth," which can help companies ensure information is accurate and also meet regulatory compliance. Quality information from various sources (such as suppliers, OEMs and government contractors) is captured and shared in real-time to enhance supply chain visibility and collaboration. Users can automatically create work cards and routes by using reusable templates for individual operation instructions or a series of operations.

"As MRO processes become increasingly critical to corporate profitability, companies are looking for comprehensive solutions that can support their complex business operations," said Rick Jewell, Oracle vice president, manufacturing and supply chain execution applications. Jewell asserted that the integration capabilities and functionality within the new MRO solution could help companies reduce inventory levels and cycle times while improving part availability and scheduling capabilities for improved cost efficiencies.

Marc McCluskey, an analyst with technology consultancy AMR Research, writing in a research note earlier this month, praised the depth of functionality in the new Oracle application and suggest that the solution deserved consideration by users regardless of their back-end suite. "Oracle is now a contender for suite or best-of-breed decisions due to the vertical functionality, standalone capabilities and suite support or backbone," McCluskey wrote.

For an in-depth look at how one company is implementing new service parts management technologies and processes to position itself for growth in the year ahead, read "Time to Prove It," an In Depth article on iSourceonline.

For more information on solutions for the service and support chain, see "In the Field and All Grown Up," the Net Best Thing column in the June/July 2002 of iSource Business.