Jet Parts Engineering, which designs and supplies aviation parts worldwide to airlines and aircraft maintenance companies, is expanding its customer base through a growth strategy focused on ecommerce and acquisition.
The Seattle-based company this week announced its acquisition of Aero Parts Mart, which complements Jet Part Engineering’s business of providing aviation engineering services and “PMAs,” or parts approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA grants the PMA or Parts Manufacturer Approval designation to manufacturers of aviation parts that meet its quality standards.
Anu Goel, president of Jet Parts, says Aero Parts Mart will add to “JPE’s strategy to continue expansion of PMAs” and its “focus on quality and customer service.” Jet Parts, which is owned by private equity firm Vance Street Capital, didn’t disclose the terms of its acquisition of APM.
“This union promises to make both Jet Parts and Aero Parts Mart stronger leaders in the regional aircraft PMA market,” Goel adds. Aero Parts brings to Jet Parts a catalog of more than 250 PMA products, primarily for the regional jet market, increasing JPE’s total number of PMA products to more than 1,300, the companies said.
Jet Parts has been expanding its reach with customers through its custom-built ecommerce site, which it designed and developed in-house. The site, which JPE relaunched in 2017 with better features and integration with its enterprise resource planning system, attracts customers worldwide and provides them with extensive details on available products, technical specifications and order status, says John Benscheidt, vice president of sales and marketing.
Although Jet Parts gets most of its sales from airlines that transmit orders through electronic data interchange, with less than half of its orders coming through its ecommerce site, it relies on the website to provide its customers with the information they need to make purchases, Benscheidt says. “We’ve invested a lot in building our ecommerce site and offer it as an additional tool for our customers to gain immediate access” to products and related information, he adds.
Jet Parts also reaches customers online through several aviation industry online marketplaces, including ILS, Aeroxchange and PartsBase.
Although Aero Parts Mart is not involved in digital commerce, Benscheidt says JPE is considering how it might bring APM into digital markets.
“APM and Jet Parts have developed a deep portfolio of PMAs and their customers view them as critical value-added suppliers,” says John LeRosen, a partner at Vance Street.
The long-term prospects for growth are good, Benscheidt adds. “Market demand was strong over the past year and continues to be strong moving into 2020,” he says.
With passenger airline travel numbers reaching record levels, Benschiedt says, airlines are increasing demand for parts and maintenance. “The aviation aftermarket is dynamic, and varies based on aspects such as aircraft retirements, new aircraft deliveries, airline maintenance practices, and passenger demand.”
Although there are “some headwinds going forward from unknown risks like global trade tensions, erratic stock market behavior, and potential regulatory changes due to climate change pressures that temper some expectations, we feel confident that things will continue moving in a positive direction,” he says. “Airlines’ operational costs are constantly being squeezed by fuel prices, maintenance requirements, etc., which is exactly where Jet Parts Engineering fits in. We offer cost-savings to their maintenance through replacement parts and engineered repairs.”
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