Boeing Frontiers
October 2002 
Volume 01, Issue 06 
Top Stories Inside Quick Takes Site Tools
Commercial Airplanes

E-business at Boeing is gaining velocity thanks to
Portal POWER

BY ELIZABETH DAVIS Imagine that your favorite author has just published a new book. You don't have time to drive to the nearest bookstore, so what do you do? You buy it online. With a few clicks of your mouse, you have the book delivered to your door in a matter of days.

Now imagine that you own a Boeing 737 and you need a spare part. It can't possibly be as easy as ordering a book online, can it?

Indeed it is. Just by logging on to, Boeing's highly successful air transport industry business-to-business Web site, not only can you order spare parts but you have access also to

•  Engineering drawings
•  A full range of up-to-date maintenance and flight manuals
•  Service bulletins
•  Fleet reliability statistics
•  Links to events and announcements, news and relevant Boeing Web sites
•  Many other reference documents.

E-business ease

Boeing launched the password-protected site in 2000 to provide airline customers direct, personalized access to information essential to maintaining and operating Boeing and Douglas airplanes.

"Our goal is to make it easier for our customers to do business with Boeing," said Barb Claitman, director of Boeing's Commercial Aviation Services Information Systems organization.

Andrew Hoad, FLS Aerospace's group vice president of Material Solutions, attested to the site's merits. "In the past it was a nightmare," he said, referring to the copious amounts of maintenance service bulletin updates his company must handle regularly. "Updates could get delayed in the post, and potentially the company wouldn't receive important information until it was too late."

FLS Aerospace is one of Europe's leading independent aircraft maintenance providers. They now access Boeing maintenance manual updates via computer on

Ordering spare parts is another example of how has improved productivity for both the customers and Boeing.

Previously, Boeing received the majority of orders by telephone, telex or telefax. This involved action by someone at Boeing to receive, review, enter or otherwise manipulate the orders. Boeing also responded to those orders by acknowledging status, usually multiple times during the order process, by sending automatic telex or fax responses.

"Now, the PART Page on allows order entry without Boeing intervention; and, more importantly, it allows customers to 'self service' their order status inquiries and pull the information from the Web 24 hours a day," said Darrel Vorderstrasse, regional manager in Boeing Spares Sales. "The page also contains links that allow customers to track shipment status."

Subscribers work with information as it becomes available, rather than having to wait for Boeing to print and ship supplements and revisions, collate them with existing documentation, and distribute them.

Today, customers can order more than 6.5 million different types of spare parts on the Web site. The spares pages host more than 130,000 transactions each week.

Impressive statistics

The site is available to airplane owners and operators, and maintenance, repair and overhaul shops. Currently, more than 30,000 industry professionals from over 550 companies, plus more than 3,000 Boeing employees, use's personalized technology to do their jobs.

"The site is getting over 4,000 logins each day — more than four million hits each month — making Boeing the aviation industry leader in e-enabled customer solutions," Claitman said.

One place for everything

More than simply a data repository, also is interactive and collaborative. Users have access to a digest Boeing created for airlines and Boeing to identify, prioritize and resolve technical issues cooperatively. As Nathanael Earp, 737 general manager for Delta Air Lines, said, "Product support is everything in this industry. It's been really good to have one place [] we can go to find out what's happening with the fleet."

The future

The company expects many more customers to sign up for in the future.

"MyBoeingFleet penetration isn't anywhere close to complete, since all airlines have not yet subscribed," Claitman said. "But digital information is easier to use and available for concurrent use by many individuals; and it often features extensive indexing and text-based search capability."

Mike Bair, Boeing executive vice president of Commercial Aviation Services, said the customers are the site's driving force. "The developing and improving are ways Boeing has listened to customers and reacted to their requests."

For a free, introductory guest tour of, log on to the Web site at


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