Industrial giant Honeywell International Inc. said today it has launched an online marketplace for airplane parts that uses blockchain technology to bring improved fulfillment times and transparency to a sector still using paper records and phone calls.
Honeywell's GoDirect Trade platform applies retail e-commerce standards to the market for new and used aircraft parts, streamlining the shopping process for airlines, air transport, and business aviation customers, the firm said. Previously, buyers looking for aviation parts such as avionics or auxiliary power units would have to call numerous companies, wait days to price a part, and risk buying from a company that did not have the inventory immediately in stock, according to Honeywell.
In contrast, the GoDirect Trade platform uses blockchain technology to ensure that every listing includes images and quality documents for the exact part being offered for sale, giving the buyer increased confidence about purchasing the part, Honeywell said. The platform also ensures that every part on GoDirect Trade is immediately available for sale and shipping.
The first retailer offering its goods on the platform will be the company's own parts division, Honeywell Aerospace Trading, while additional users in 2019 will include Dassault Aviation, Turbo Resources, Standard Aero, and several more, according to Lisa Butters, Honeywell's general manager for GoDirect Trade Greenhouse Business.
Each retailer listing its goods on GoDirect Trade is required to provide digitized supply chain data including price, product images, and quality documents, Butters said. In exchange, the sellers can maintain their own logos, brand identities, and online storefronts.
"Every seller that wants to participate has to digitize their operation," Butters said. "That is a high hurdle, but otherwise, the site would be like every other listing service out there. We have to be obsessive about the customer experience."
Honeywell thinks its approach could make a large impact in a sector where only 2.5 percent of transactions are done online, and the average item sold is $8,000. "We are the first marketplace to enable customized seller storefronts, and we are the first to leverage blockchain technology to build trust between the buyer and seller," Butters said.
The site provides that trust in a similar approach to how the Carfax website provides buyers of used cars with a full vehicle history, Butters said. Applied to airplane parts, GoDirect Trade will use blockchain for "trust trace," providing a verified pedigree for every part, listing its history from manufacturing date to repairs made to previous owners.
The initiative is Honeywell's latest recent expansion into the supply chain sector, following logistics investments in everything from electronic logging devices (ELDs) to handheld computers, warehouse robotics, system integration, and e-commerce fulfillment.