Long lead times and manufacturing delays persist across many sectors as the world emerges from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, delays that remain steadfast in the highly-technical and heavily-regulated aerospace sector. In response, Rotorcorp has doubled our available on-hand spare parts inventory (already the world’s largest) in 2023 as a way to mitigate upstream delays and to ensure that high-tempo and high-urgency Robinson R22, R44, and R66 helicopter operators around the world can easily access the critical parts they need to keep flying safely.
“In 2018 when we saw how popular our ‘first of its kind’ e-commerce platform for the online sale of Robinson helicopter parts was becoming, it prompted us to really dig into the data to better anticipate what our customers needed and then do our best to stock accordingly,” said company President, Sean Casey.
This focus and investment paid off. Rotorcorp gained a significant boost of new online customers through the course of the pandemic (2020-22) as operators and maintainers around the world explored alternative suppliers – beyond their local or in-county Authorized Service Centers, many of which experienced significant slowdowns or even closures. Since then, we have worked diligently to maintain the loyalty of both these newly acquired and existing operators and maintainers by constantly evolving our inventory to meet changing technical and market realities.
Rotorcorp has continued to grow and curate its inventory of Robinson parts to better reflect the items that are needed the most often, drastically reducing the need for expensive AOG orders or placing longer lead-time orders from the manufacturer. In 2022, Rotorcorp took another leap forward by providing live inventory stock counts of items available in the web store. This improved transparency provides our customers with additional confidence that the items they order will be delivered quickly and cost-effectively.
The decision to increase the company’s stock levels by 100 percent this year came as market realities revealed that 2023 would share likely share many of the frustrations from 2021 and 2022 – meaning lead times and delays were likely to continue through much of the year before showing improvement in early 2024. Rotorcorp constantly monitors the inventory levels, re-order points, lead times, and turnover ratios of the more than 1500 in-stock items we carry.
“Having all this historical sales data is great, but the real payoff comes when my customer calls, their helicopter is down, and we are able to package and ship the part they needed within the hour. That’s the real-world benefit of our investments in infrastructure and inventory,” says Tracy Jensen, VP of Operations.
“We are really putting our money where our mouth is,” continued Casey, “Investing in and professionally managing our inventory is probably our biggest commitment to our customers. As their “Parts Department,” our maintainers and operator customers expect us to have what they need when they need it. We are striving not to let them down.”