I was reading through the April 2010 Overhaul and Maintenance Magazine, which featured an article by Jerry Chandler entitled Pulse on Parts: Strategies for Uncertain Times; the article describes a variety of strategies that companies were taking with respect to parts. It also featured discussions of several MARPA members, including Aero Brake & Spares and Aerotech Holdings.
Although the article is a year old, it still has plenty of good strategies for the aircraft parts industry.
The Aero Brake & Spares discussion explained how this PMA company has thrived by servicing a niche market- the small replacements found in brake systems. Aero Brake & Spares President Scott McNew explains in the article that by selecting a specialized niche market, he can provide value to customers without facing the same intense competition seen in the markets for higher-value articles, which allows him to be more selective in which projects he brings to market. This permits him to remain independent and to be sure that he can bring value to the customer.
David Axline, of Aerotech Holdings explained the value that he has seen in partnering with OEMs in order to produce OEM-licensed PMAs. Aerotech Holdings is currently working with Boeing to diversify into the military parts market, with an eye toward servicing foreign militaries. He feels that this sort of diversification provides better protection to the business (minimizes the impact of the cyclic nature of the commercial market).
This is an excellent article discussing PMAs, surplus parts, and disassembly of aircraft as a source of parts, and the strategies discussed in that article are as valid one year later as they were in April 2010. Please read through to the end to see MARPA quoted as well!