SAP and advanced manufacturing cut costs for current, new airplanes

Subscription Required July 1, 2019, © Leeham News: Improving supply chain management is one of the many, many key factors in making the business case for the prospective Boeing New Midmarket Airplane.

The prospective Boeing NMA needs SAP and advanced manufacturing processes to help close the business case. Source: Leeham Co.

The highly complex task of managing a supply chain with millions of parts across many product lines can break down quickly with any weak link, be it from a supplier or in the management system itself. Quality control, security, misrouting, package integrity in shipping are among the key issues. The sheer magnitude of tracking inventory is huge. Boeing uses Enterprise Resource Planning and is shifting the system to a new, expanded one called Systems Applications Projects. SAP is the next generation of ERP. Even though ERP has been in use for decades, last year there was a breakdown in deliveries that contributed to production interruptions of the 737 NG (late deliveries of the CFM 56 were a bigger problem). Boeing’s transition from ERP to SAP is taking longer than anticipated, with a 2021-ish target.

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With the NMA business case continuing to be difficult to close, Boeing’s need to attack every cost is clear.

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