Supply Chain Management at Airbus - Implementing RFID Technology

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Case Details:

Case Code : OPER092
Case Length : 20 Pages
Period : 2005-2009
Organization : Airbus
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : Europe
Industry : Aircraft Manufacturing

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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“One of Airbus key objectives is to continuously improve its supply chain by mastering the suppliers’ approval and the surveillance of their manufacturing capabilities. To achieve that goal, Airbus has developed a strategy based upon assessments of suppliers’ Quality Management Systems (QMS) and their special processes by external bodies along with the use of international standards. Having been defined, this strategy needs to be deployed throughout the entire supply chain.”1

- Supply Chain Objectives of Airbus, in 2005.

“The bottom line is to find the balance between keeping as few spare parts as possible in stock and avoiding delivery bottlenecks. That is the only way to avoid investing millions in spare parts at a time when you don’t really need them.”2

- Olaf Lawrenz, Senior Director, Center of Competence, Airbus Spares Support and Services, in 2006.


In May 2008, Airbus Société par Actions Simplifiée (Airbus) won ‘The Best RFID Implementation’ award presented by the RFID Journal.

According to Patrick J. Sweeney II, Founder of ODIN Technologies3, “The Airbus team became leaders in RFID by clearly articulating the value, generating benefits, and championing its use throughout the supply chain and then leaving the complex physics of RF and infrastructure to the experts.”4

Supply Chain Management at Airbus - Implementing RFID Technology - Next Page>>

2] “Airbus Spares Support and Services,”
3] Founded in 2002, ODIN Technologies is a Delaware-based firm that specializes in providing solutions for using RFID technology.
4] “Airbus Wins Best RFID Implementation Award,”, May 07, 2008.


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