Earlier this year, Swedish and Finnish customers of the NH90 began ordering used and new spare parts from Airbus’ MyNH90 internet portal, a move that represented another sign of the manufacturer’s digital push.
Some 330 NH90 helicopters – Airbus’ and NHIndustries’ military multi-role helicopter – are in operation across the globe, accumulating more than 150,000 flight hours. Small wonder there’s a need for quick and reliable ordering of spare parts to keep them flying.
The MyNH90 e-portal – first launched eight years ago for customers to place repair orders and monitor their progress in real time – now also allows NH90 customers to order new and used spare parts, track their delivery, and benefit from e-invoicing features.
“The e-commerce marketplace is the application most appreciated by customers on MyNH90,” says Fanny Chauffour, head of NH90 Support Business Management. “90% of orders are placed directly from the e-portal, and the quality of information in an order is better using the portal.” That’s because, via their online connection, customers not only see the part number, but also pricing, availability, applicability and delivery information.
For customers, the portal provides a secure connection and ensures their data is protected—a highly attractive feature for military and governmental clients. A personal secured device allows registered users to connect to the site, where they are directed to pages dedicated to spare parts. A confirmation number lets them track the status of their order. Information is encrypted, and the user’s identity is verified through their personal token.
One of the big advantages of the portal is the visibility it gives customers, from seeing their requests, orders, and delivery status, to invoices. At each step, pertinent data are grouped, to be downloaded as an Excel file if needed, and associated documentation listed and available in PDF format. “One customer told us the system is a cloud,” says Bernard Raust, NHIndustries Information System Manager. “If you need a document, you can find it on the portal. If you want to see an invoice from five years ago, you can see it on the e-portal.”
In past years, Airbus struggled with a system that resulted in inconsistent parts pricing. To provide more coherence in its parts policy, the manufacturer re-evaluated the bulk of its stock, using a new system that determines a part’s price based on its dimensions, material, and the use to which it’s put. Parts have been grouped into families, for easier ordering.
In addition to parts, the NH90 helicopter has some 500 individual pieces of optional equipment, so an interactive product improvement catalog available on the portal functions as a commercial outpost from Airbus’ design office.
For customers, the benefit of ordering parts through the portal is making its mark. The simplified ordering process – online, anywhere in the world, at any time of the day – means greater time savings and a reduced administrative burden.
While online marketplaces have been around for some time, it’s only recently – and with a great many hurdles to jump – that such sites have been set up for the military. “Some of our larger customers have their own systems, particularly for accepting invoices,” says Raust. “We’re working on ways to connect our system with theirs.” Nevertheless, says Chauffour, “Having this digitalised web solution is a win-win approach for the entire NH90 community.”
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