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Materials Management at Boeing


Boeing is one of the most recognizable aerospace corporations in the world. It has established itself in one hundred and forty-five countries and therefore requires a highly comprehensive materials management program. The paper shall look at this company’s approach to materials management and its strengths/ weaknesses will be identified.

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Material management at Boeing

Boeing carries out several materials management activities that are essential in boosting company operations and therefore overall profitability within the aerospace market. Firstly, the company enforces vendor parts standards so that it can ensure that its respective consumers possess spare parts when they need them. In close relation to the latter activity is the provision of parts support systems. In this regard, the company usually offers buyers technical support whenever there is a concern about the provision of the spare parts on time or in good condition. (Boeing par 5)

The company also carries out several voluntary engineering services to their clientele. Boeing has created a list containing possible spare parts that may be required by a certain airline so that when the need arises, Boeing is already prepared beforehand to deal with the customer. To carry out the latter activity well, the corporation has created a comprehensive database known as My Boeing Fleet whose main aim is to provide clients with viable options on what spare parts they can interchange depending on foreseen needs.

This aerospace company also carries out a shipment of spare parts to their specified clients as soon as twenty-four hours after order placement. The latter activity has been facilitated by several direct shipping services offered by the company such as Boeing Express. Besides the latter, this company also offers a series of leasing services in which clients have the choice of millions of surplus parts within the market.

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of materials management at Boeing is its quality management sector. The firm has heavily invested in its Integrated Materials Management system. The latter entails a supply chain service in which the company takes up materials management for its clientele. By doing this, it ensures that its clients’ business networks and services are drastically improved. This is achievable through the reduction of spare part costs and also through effective logistics and inventory. (Boeing par 4)

It can therefore be said that operational aspects of the company’s functions are largely encompassed in materials management. This is the reason why the issue of quality assurance falls under this umbrella. Usually, when the company is utilizing parts, it makes a point of testing them to ensure continuous flow within the supply chain. Another important company function is shipping. Materials management is essential in adding value to the company’s services by shipping spare parts to clients on time and in good condition.

The third function associated with materials management is acquisition. Normally, this discipline comes into play when Boeing is obtaining spare parts from all its suppliers. Other functions include ordering and warehousing as well. All these functions would not be achievable without materials management. (Smith et al 22)

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Value is added to the company’s materials management activities through the following i.e. these are its strengths

  • Offers an Integrated Materials management program for airlines and other clients.
  • has effective support for any queries about spare parts,
  • possesses a website for tracking orders,
  • helps clients access spare parts quite quickly through eight distribution centers globally
  • gives recommendations on possible spare parts and engineering services

However, some issues are harming its materials management and they are

  • Ineffective employment of technology in material management strategies e.g. business intelligence software (Strategic Enterprise Management)
  • Lack of synchronization of all material management activities (Smith et al 22)


Boeing is a leading international aerospace provider as a result of its effective material management systems. These range from continuous client support to Integrated materials management services. However, the company still needs to adopt a holistic and enterprise-wide approach to materials management to derive maximum benefit from it. Besides, it also needs to embrace more technological support in materials management.


Boeing. Materials Management. 2009. Web.

Smith, Nelson., Zacharia, Dennis, Mentzer, Tim. “Defining Supply Chain Management.” Business Logistics Journal. 20.26 (2001): 22.

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