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Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH turns to AirSupply to digitalize its supply chain

A little over one year ago, Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW) selected SupplyOn’s AirSupply solution to improve the aircraft company’s ordering processes with its most important suppliers.

In taking this step, EFW wanted to implement a collaborative ordering process that would enable delivery quantities and dates to be easily and transparently coordinated with its suppliers. Another goal was to improve supplier performance.

Selection criteria

AirSupply meets all the functional requirements needed to create a transparent ordering process. This was not, however, the primary reason EFW selected the SupplyOn solution. Proving decisive was the fact that many major players in the aerospace industry, including the Airbus Group, Liebherr and Safran, have been using the SupplyOn solution for some time.

Another important consideration was that EFW had already been using AirSupply in working with its customer Airbus when the decision was made. After all, it was only logical to use the same tool on the supplier side that was already being used on the customer side. This was particularly the case as EFW’s experience with AirSupply had been very positive in terms of process support, usability, continuing development and support.

Project phase experiences

EFW issued its first purchase orders using AirSupply in mid-2015. To ensure a smooth startup, the company only selected suppliers for the initial phase that had already used the tool with other customers and were familiar with its operation.

Since early 2016, the company has been using the tool for transactions with nearly 30 suppliers, including Wesco, Premium Aerotec, Gurit, Isovolta, Alcoa, KLX, Flamm and 3M. These suppliers account for the principal share of EFW’s purchases and transactions. EFW’s goal over the long term is to select suppliers with smaller volumes to also add to the online process. Some of them have already expressed interest.

Since going live in May 2015, EFW has used AirSupply to issue over 7,000 purchase orders, with the numbers continuing to climb. The tools’s transparency is the primary benefit for EFW’s daily operations: The scheduler sees right away whether the supplier has viewed the order, issued a response and begun collaborating. In the past, EFW and its suppliers would send Excel lists back and forth, which was as error prone as it was inefficient.

Our experience with AirSupply has been very good,” says Thomas Bauch, a project manager at EFW. “Coordination with our suppliers has improved significantly due in part to the fact that both sides are working with the same system and essentially looking at the same screen. Feedback from our suppliers has been consistently positive. We are confident that the tool will also lead to their delivery performance improving over the long term.

About EFW

With roughly 1,100 employees, Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW) is an important partner to key players in the aerospace industry. In addition to developing and manufacturing composite components for all Airbus models, the company focuses on passenger-to-freighter conversions as well as maintenance and repair services for all Airbus models.

AirSupply benefits at a glance

  • Easier, more efficient management of supplier relationships
  • Improved transparency because both parties coordinate their activities using the same system
  • Improved delivery performance

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