When you're a growing airline, like Southwest Airlines, you not only have to manage new routes, you also have to balance operational excellence against the cost of spare parts for a fleet of more than 500 airplanes flying to over 60 cities. "Having the coverage to maintain that fleet without having an inventory that's hugely expensive is our biggest challenge," said Johan Muller, Southwest's manager of material planning. To keep its planes in the air, Southwest maintains parts in ...

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