Boeing Web Site Popular with Spare-parts Customers

The aviation industry's first World Wide Web site for ordering jetliner spare parts has generated over 150,000 transactions in its first six months, and that volume is expected to grow to half a million by the end of the first year.

The Boeing PART Page went online early last November. Since then, more than 200 customers of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group have started using the site to order jetliner spare parts, obtain price quotes, check on the status of shipments, and request other information. The potential user base for the site is about 750 airlines and maintenance firms worldwide.

More than 410,000 different types of spare parts are available to Boeing customers over the Web site. Items range from small fasteners, brackets and machine fittings all the way up to large control surfaces, engine cowlings and landing gear. Boeing stores the items in seven distribution centers, supporting about 7,000 Boeing jetliners in the world fleet.

"The Boeing PART Page provides a quick, easy, economical way for our customers to access the Boeing spares inventory database," said Tom DiMarco, senior manager of spares systems. "It's intuitive, fully interactive and lets customers 'pull' information at their option. It greatly reduces the need for hard copies of airbills, shipping schedules and other documents."

DiMarco said the Web site now accounts for about one-quarter of all transactions normally handled manually, including those received via phone and fax, and the proportion is growing steadily. This excludes transactions generated through electronic data interchange, in which mainframe computers operated by very large customers are linked directly to the Boeing database.

The Web site is reached on standard computer workstations with Internet access. Customers register with Boeing for user IDs and passwords, and they need a Web browser capable of handling a security protocol.