Every Helimission base is equipped with multiple tools, equipment, and spare parts. Spare parts and tools are regularly shipped between the bases and headquarters in Switzerland. Some parts are very expensive and require great care during handling and storage. On each base we have a dedicated storeroom which is built to keep temperature and humidity constant and at acceptable levels.
To be prepared for audits (inspections) by the authorities, we must keep a written record of the “history” of every spare part. For this it is important to have a good system in place to track spare parts, tools, and equipment. Helimission is in the process of ensuring this by implementing a new system.
Before the new system is implemented, the inventory needs to be updated. At the same time, a new system for locating and tracking parts is being introduced throughout Helimission. Our logistics manager, Njaka, and I are working on this. Checking all the part numbers as well as the number of parts is a lot of work. Some parts are very old. The oldest we found are from 1967, some nylon stop nuts made in France and still in top condition.
A well-managed inventory can save a lot of money, time and nerves, because no unnecessary parts are bought, nor does the helicopter have to stay unnecessarily long on the ground waiting for spare parts. Last but not least, it has an impact on safety.
Jan Vidar, Mechanic and Pilot