$34 Million is First Win for New Defense Sustainment Organisation
In 2017, the USAF approached Collins Aerospace looking to improve readiness. Hill AFB was experiencing large variations in repair materiel availability for the company’s Accessory Drive Gearbox—ranging from too many parts in stock to too few—and the readiness rates of its F-16 and B-2 fleets were suffering as a result. The gearbox acts as the heart of the aircraft’s transmission system, used for changing rotational speed. Rather than approach the USAF request from a traditional MRO perspective, Collins Aerospace’s newly created Defense Sustainment team turned it into an opportunity to collaborate with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), to forecast future gearbox repair materiel needs as part of the company’s ‘Beyond Break Fix’ strategy.
As a result the DLA has placed a 10-year, $34 million (€27.9 million) contract with the company, to provide gearbox repair materiel for both fleets. Under the Supplier Initiated Ordering programme, a new DoD practice, the DLA has provided Collins Aerospace access and insight to its materiel demand profile. In turn, the company will use its proprietary demand profiling process, supply chain management and manufacturing resources to drive an optimised materiel support plan. The company aims to maintain a guaranteed level of materiel availability to Hill AFB at all times, rotate all inventory regularly to reduce the DLA’s carrying costs throughout the period of performance, and to double inventory turns.
“This performance-based support approach represents a new level of collaboration between Collins Aerospace, the USAF and the DLA,” explained Aaron Maue, Executive Director, Defense Sustainment for Collins Aerospace. “By working together, we devised a solution that significantly enhances MRO efficiency, while improving fleet readiness. It’s the first win under our ‘Beyond Break Fix’ program, a company-wide wide sustainment and support initiative that focuses on materiel availability instead of transactional parts, thereby enabling us to better support the warfighter by increasing aircraft readiness rates.”