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SAESL’s extraordinary journey of operational excellence with ICRON

SAESL’s extraordinary journey of operational excellence with ICRON

Precision. Agility. Resilience.

In the ever-evolving world of aircraft Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO), precision, agility and resilience are key. Singapore Aero Engine Services Private Limited (SAESL), one of the world’s largest leaders in MRO embarked on a transformative journey to achieve these aspirations, with ICRON as the driving force behind this evolution.

The MRO landscape is complex and highly competitive, where the ability to operate with precision and adapt to ever-changing demands is critical. Recognizing the need to embrace digitalization, automation, and optimization across its operations, SAESL sought a technology partner with the right products and the right expertise to navigate the intricacies of their operations.

ICRON’s implementation tailored precisely to SAESL’s unique requirements has truly revolutionized their planning practices and service capabilities. The positive impact of ICRON’s intelligent Customer Centric Supply Chain Planning solution can be seen in SAESL’s significant improvement in planning accuracy, better alignment of capacity with supply and demand, maximized resource utilization, reduced production costs, enhanced collaboration, and complete visibility and control over their entire MRO supply chain process.

SAESL’s journey with ICRON, spanning over 20 years, is a testament to the transformative power of precision, agility, and resilience in the MRO supply chain industry. It’s a story of how technology, when harnessed with expertise and precision, can elevate an organization to new heights.

Download the full case study to explore how SAESL, together with ICRON, unlocked precision, agility, and resilience.

The aircraft Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) business landscape is highly complex and competitive. Companies looking to rise and remain at the top of this space must be able to operate – like the incredibly sophisticated machines they work on – with optimal precision and speed. As the type and timing of aircraft MRO work constantly changes, these providers must be agile and versatile, always prepared – with the necessary high-skilled workers and cutting-edge technological resources – to handle sudden surges and shifts in demand.

One of the world’s largest aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) industry leaders, Singapore Aero Engine Services Private Limited (SAESL) is a Trent Centre of Excellence specialising in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of the Rolls-Royce Trent engine family. A joint venture between SIA Engineering Company and Rolls-Royce, SAESL began its operations in 2001.

SAESL started off with engine module overhaul work and component repair work for Trent 500 (Airbus A340), Trent 700 (Airbus A330), Trent 800 (Boeing 777),Trent 900 (Airbus A380) and has since focused more on the Trent 1000 (Boeing 787 Dreamliner™), Trent 7000 (Airbus A330) and Trent XWB (Airbus A350) engines – making it the only facility in the world capable of repairing all in-service variants of the Rolls-Royce Trent engine with a state-of-the-art Engine Test Facility.

In the two decades since its founding, SAESL has grown to become a leading MRO provider of choice for some of the world’s biggest aviation companies. This success came as a result of SAESL’s relentless efforts to innovate its business through technological advancements.

SAESL recognises that to thrive in today’s highly complex and competitive aviation industry, they must embrace digitalisation, automation, and optimization throughout their business operations, from planning to decision-making to daily operations. And to achieve this, it is essential that they select the right technology partners that have:

  • The right products (which are robust and flexible enough to deliver scalable and sustainable solutions for the business’ complicated and ever-changing needs).

  • And the right people (with whom SAESL can cultivate long-term, mutually beneficial business relationships).


By 2007, SAESL had already established itself as a premier MRO provider for Trent aero engines. But to maintain and maximise this competitive advantage, SAESL needed to put in place a Customer Centric Supply Chain Planning solution that would enable them to gain visibility and control over their operations.

Juggling thousands of repair jobs with tight deadlines and coping with fierce competition for high-tech resources as well as rapid changes in demand and due dates, SAESL’s planning and scheduling department was struggling to generate plans and schedules that were feasible and flexible at the operational level.

SAESL’s planning practices were largely manual, based on spreadsheets and not integrated with SAP, the company’s existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Consequently, planners were not able to create schedules to accommodate the daily, dynamic complexities of their MRO shop reality and the frequent fluctuations in demand and capacity.

SAESL’s management team began looking for an advanced Supply Chain Planning solution that would enable the company to optimise its operations to improve resource utilisation and performance, reduce production costs, increase capacity, and ultimately, revenues.

ICRON & SAESL: A Strong, Successful Partnership

Following a thorough evaluation of various options, SAESL chose the ICRON Customer Centric Supply Chain Planning solution as their preferred choice, initiating a long-standing partnership spanning over 15 years.

It turned out to be a wise choice, as the implementation of this powerful, intelligent planning and scheduling platform – which provided a 100% fit for SAESL’s unique business requirements – would truly revolutionise the MRO provider’s planning practices and service capabilities.

When explaining the rationale for selection of the ICRON Customer Centric Supply Chain Planning Solution, SAESL emphasised

ICRON’s profound understanding of the intricate complexities inherent in MRO operations. Their depth of knowledge, combined with the remarkable power and adaptability of their AI-powered decision-centric optimisation solution, left a lasting impression. This, along with ICRON’s speed of implementation, made them an obvious choice.

What truly sets ICRON apart from other solutions is its pioneering ability to generate work schedules swiftly and dynamically as the MRO investigation process unfolded, revealing the true work scope. ICRON has proven itself to be an exceptional partner, one that consistently exceeds expectations and provides unparalleled solutions in the MRO supply chain industry.

Our Beginning

Implementation of the ICRON Customer Centric Supply Chain Planning solution for SAESL started off with two integrated business functions:

Component Repair Scheduling and Engine Overhaul Scheduling

The ICRON Customer Centric Supply Chain Planning solution was very easily integrated with SAESL’s existing SAP system, and this provided SAESL with company-wide planning visibility through a distributed web-based environment capable of compiling real-time production data and creating reports and charts for managers and other staff.

SAESL has experienced a significant improvement in its planning capability, operational control, and flexibility ever since the ICRON solution was implemented

Success Highlights

ICRON Planning automatically updates and optimises SAESL’s schedules twice a day in less than half an hour, enabling the MRO provider to:

  • Schedule more than 30,000 operations through 100 work centres to effectively manage day-to-day operations and react to unexpected changes in demand or capacity.

  • Optimise resource utilisation and productivity.

  • Optimise capacity, accuracy of completion times, and customer satisfaction.

  • Reduce overtime and production costs.

  • Dramatically reduce repair turnaround time by optimising priority queues and reducing waiting time using an algorithm to optimise repair schedule.

  • Reduce manual intervention from Planners and non-value-added tasks among the planning team.

  • Ensure transparency regarding the status of work in progress and any potential delays.

Today, Tomorrow and the Future

SAESL has consistently expanded their utilisation of ICRON ever since, periodically incorporating new scheduling logics into the existing algorithms for Component Repair Scheduling and Engine Overhaul Scheduling to accommodate the company’s ongoing business growth and evolution.

ICRON Capacity Planning

Despite their success, SAESL continued to strive for improvement as their operations expanded to new heights. They recognised the need for a more advanced solution to manage their capacity planning, having previously relied on disconnected Excel spreadsheets and struggled with processing large volumes of real-time data. Seeking a comprehensive, enterprise-wide planning software, they turned to ICRON to address their capacity planning challenges.

The implementation consists of capacity planning for a 10-year time horizon for all existing business units in SAESL. This involved forecasting capacity requirements for more than 200 distinct resources, including manpower, machines, tooling, and storage needs

Success Highlights

The implementation of ICRON has enabled SAESL to achieve:

  • Significant improvement in planning accuracy.

  • Better alignment of capacity with supply and demand.

  • Fully automated generation of optimal plans and schedules.

  • Maximised resource utilisation and minimised set-up times and work-in-process inventory levels.

  • Increased overall productivity and profitability.

  • Enhanced collaboration between planners, management, and workforce on the shop floor.

  • Complete visibility and control over the entire MRO process.

  • Flexibility for data analytics and future forecast planning.

Civil Engine MRO is a complex business. Much of the supply chain is constantly challenged. In most instances, the best advantage is to have the capabilities to repair instead of purchasing new parts. Having ICRON on board has enriched the planning and scheduling process, optimised work centre resources and provided business intelligence to forecast business KPIs.This has benefited SAESL vastly in manhour planning, in productivity and in resource optimization at individual work centres.

This vast improvement is due in no small part to the positive impact of ICRON’s intelligent Customer Centric Supply Chain Planning solution.

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