Like many sectors across the world, the global aviation industry suffered throughout the pandemic. In 2020, it posted net losses totalling $118 billion.
Fortunately, the industry rebounded somewhat in 2021 and its outlook for next year is more positive. In fact, macroeconomic trends suggest that demand for small- and medium-sized aircraft will recover to reach pre-COVID levels in 2022, as per Deloitte.
Additionally, air travel volumes are well above the lows experienced in 2020. It is now believed the aviation industry’s after market revenues could recover strongly into 2022 with air traffic expected to rebound.
This is in large part due to the global administration of COVID vaccines and the subsequent easing of local lockdowns. As a result, commercial air travel is once again picking up.
Manufacturers still need alternate solutions… like ERP
The International Air Travel Association notes that the total demand for commercial air travel increased by 19% from August 2020 through to August 2021.
While the overall demand for air travel is still well below pre-COVID levels, it is encouraging to see it on the rise once more.
However, this doesn’t mean businesses in and around the industry should sit by and wait for the recovery. They must identify new ways to save money and optimise processes to prevent further losses in the future.
There are many advanced Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems that are widely available and can help aerospace manufacturers overcome their issues by offering solutions to numerous problems – ranging from optimising research and development (R&D) through to enhancing supply chain management capabilities.
Aerospace manufacturers can utilise these systems to seamlessly integrate with Computer-Aided Design (CAD) systems and minimise the time spent on reworking concepts and models considerably.
By saving this valuable time, they are empowered to redirect their focus towards other more meaningful tasks to further advance their plans.
ERPs also enable manufacturers to collaborate with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) via online channels with ease – allowing them to predict what will be needed and when more accurately.
This could be of great benefit to businesses when considering the aerospace avionics market is forecast to be worth $1 billion by 2028 with the OEM sub-segment expected to claim a revenue of $67.9 million, as per Research Dive.
By having the ability to collaborate with OEMs seamlessly as they continue to grow, aerospace manufacturers have an opportunity to forge truly symbiotic relationships with their partners and flourish together.
Customer experience and supply chain remain ever important
It is well documented that the pandemic irrevocably reshaped consumer behaviours and now businesses need to adapt to new a customer.
After all, servicing and fulfilling customer demands at lightning speed is no longer a luxury – it’s an expectation.
This is clearly reflected in aerospace and defence businesses’ plans as well. Some 69% of aerospace and defence (A&D) executives are prioritising anticipating and responding to supply chain-related events to protect the customer experience.
One way for aerospace manufacturers to enhance the customer experience is by investing in solutions that automate interactions with clients to ensure they remain satisfied with the service offered to them.
There are plenty of ERP solutions on the market that offer Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) modules that empower businesses to respond to customers quickly and keep them happy.
Perhaps more importantly, aerospace manufacturers still need to ensure minimal disruptions in their supply chains. This typically requires businesses to have absolute visibility and traceability throughout their supply chains.
Traceability is an aspect that businesses often struggle with since any number of problems could arise throughout the supply chain – be that from R&D, materials handling, assembly or shipping.
By having the capability to schedule quickly and accurately, manufacturers can reduce down time while maximising order fulfilment and resource utilisation. Further, they can collect data from the shop floor alongside tracking employees, equipment and orders in real-time.
There are Industry 4.0 compliant systems, such as ERPs, that offer companies the ability to monitor their supply chains and production lines as well as track how they’re performing against required regulations.
And while it could seem daunting to adopt Industry 4.0 solutions and practices… it doesn’t have to be.
Keep aerospace flying with low-cost Industry 4.0
Now is the best time for aerospace manufacturers to prepare for Industry 4.0 with low-cost solutions to ensure they have the agility to pivot and meet unexpected challenges head on.
Back in 2020, a survey found that 30% of A&D respondents had adopted AI technologies across multiple business units – compared to just 23% for all other industries.
Evidently, A&D companies are leading the charge for the adoption of smart factories and other Industry 4.0 technologies and for good reason.
Today, manufacturers are faced with having to handle large volumes of data, the emergence of sophisticated business analytics and new forms of human-machine collaboration.
There is a misconception that embracing new technology involves a huge financial investment. On the contrary, low-cost Industry 4.0 maximises the technology already available to aerospace manufacturers throughout the supply chain.
Not only does it help individual applications connect and collaborate with each other, but it can also empower employees to make faster and more informed decisions. This helps improve existing business processes while adding even greater value to customers.
Clearly, aerospace manufacturers need solutions that empower them to adapt to market needs at a moment’s notice. More than this, they need to be able to predict such changes.
The best way aerospace manufacturers can achieve this agility is through smart manufacturing powered by Industry 4.0 and real-time data analytics.
Luckily, there are solutions available – like K3 SYSPRO – that offer low-cost Industry 4.0 application suites to help them achieve just that.
Interested in learning more about how K3 SYSPRO can help your business? Check out the website to find more details on how it can save your business time and money.