This programme of research investigated the development of a process driven approach to improving supply chain performance within the airline service sector. Work was undertaken within the Engineering division of an established UK scheduled airline, and specifically within the maintenance, repair and overhaul sector (MRO).\ud The underlying objective of this research was to establish the relevance of supply chain management as a source of competitive advantage to the airline service sector. A detailed review of the literature revealed that best practice originated predominately from the Japanese automotive sector, notably a manufacturing based industry. A review of the characteristic differences between these two industry sectors was undertaken to identify the opportunity for cross-sectoral transfer of knowledge. This was complemented by a thorough benchmarking analysis that identified the airline industry's position relative to best practice. This confirmed the relative immaturity of supply chain management within the airline service sector, which was representative of progress achieved by the automotive sector in the early 1980's.\ud The key aspects of best practice were then structured into a proposed process for improving supply chain performance. This process consisted of specific strategies with their corresponding tools and techniques for implementation. A number of case study implementations were then used to further validate, test and develop this generic process within a real airline operational environment. Significant improvements in both operational and financial performance were achieved through adopting this approach. A 40 % reduction in chemical sourcing costs was achieved, representing a £990,000 saving over three years for the case study company. A further 12.5 % reduction in landing gear overhaul costs was achieved (approximately £300,000), whilst at the same time improving the operational performance of this supply chain by 60 %.\ud This research concludes by recommending a generic process for improving supply chain performance. The benefits achieved through implementing this process further confirm the relevance of supply chain management to the airline service sector. Finally, this paper proposes a deterministic tool to assist practitioners in the selection of the most appropriate supply chain strategy for a given situation. Whilst this tool requires further validation, the possibilities for it's application extend far beyond those of the airline service sector. As a result this work has significantly contributed to knowledge in the field, representing considerable innovation
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.