Fokker Services increases operational excellence through advanced analytics with ownR®


Fokker Services, the Independent Aerospace Service Provider that is part of GKN Aerospace, creates tailored solutions for the maintenance of aircraft. The organisation engineers, repairs, upgrades, and delivers solutions to facilitate and support its customers’ competitive operations.

Fokker Services’ Advanced Analytics department - led by Wouter van Dis - is tasked to forecast future events and behaviours and allow the business to analyse “what-if” scenarios and predict the effects of potential changes in business strategies.

The tools that are provided to the business today are often insufficient and Advanced Analytics can help by bringing new ideas to production quickly and without much IT support needed.

Advanced Analytics was tasked to focus on i) create better insights into data, and ii) explore potential use cases for Machine Learning.

This success story highlights some first Advanced Analytics successes with the Fokker Services Reliability Engineering and Product Management departments using the ownR Analytics platform – created by Functional Analytics.

Fokker Services Reliability Engineering team analyses component maintenance programs to achieve the highest level of safety and economics, which includes root cause analysis and determining cost-effective countermeasures.

Product Management is responsible for the right parts assortment and stock levels, finding the right balance between high performance and low working capital.

Reliability Engineering

The Challenge

No Fault Found (NFF) determinations are a time-consuming and expensive issue for most operators, maintenance- or integrated service providers. In most cases, it is difficult to recoup any related labour expenses.

Customer Flight Hour contracts include indicators stating that part-groups will not exceed a certain NFF %. To manage this more effectively Fokker Services need to have these indicators available for each repair transaction, the ERP system does not contain such indicators. Until now people were reading through shop finding reports from repair transactions and then transferring these indicators manually into spreadsheets that were kept locally. This manual process was labour intensive and required technical expertise.

The solution

Fokker Services’ Advanced Analytics has automated this process through text analytics and also replaced the spreadsheets with a dashboard. This dashboard now allows the same people to perform post text analytics data classification checks to increase the training data. ownR enables developers to easily deploy dashboards following IT approved procedures – with ownR as a trusted platform that includes user authorization management and security out of the box.

The model is retrained quarterly with the new classification data to increase availability and improve quality of the training data, and then redeployed in less than a minute.

To further support the Reliability Engineering team - the next step would be extending the ERP data with data from internet-based services such as Flightradar24, which show real-time commercial aircraft flight tracking information such as flight numbers, aircraft types, positions, altitudes, headings and speeds. The ownR ability to schedule runs of the web scrapers automates this process completely.

Product Management

The Challenge

Product Management is continuously optimising supply and demand - focusing on turnover, customer service level and profit. Sourcing quality aircraft parts at competitive prices requires product knowledge and market intelligence.

Product Management leverages various internet-based Aviation Parts Marketplaces that charge for market intelligence each time a data point is accessed, even if the data was already purchased in the past.

Product Managers would access various marketplaces individually and purchase parts information on an ad-hoc basis. When the browser session is closed, that information is not stored for reuse, while a colleague might require information on the same part number shortly after.

These costs are accumulated through various accounts that are in use and therefore may easily remain out of sight.

The solution

As a first step Advanced Analytics created a single unified interface - with a familiar look and feel for the Product Managers - for all the marketplaces in use (Fokker Services’ own aviation parts equivalent to e.g. Advanced Analytics created the marketplaces integration with a single interface and through a web services API, both hosted on the ownR platform.

All marketplace requests from the new interface now run via this API – that is automatically generated by ownR on scalable managed infrastructure – and the data purchased is then stored in SQL. The SQL integration is managed by ownR at the application level rather than requiring the developer to do so at code-level – and thus increasing maintainability and control. When a recurring data request is made within a certain timeframe, it’s automatically pulled from SQL instead of being re-purchased, thus saving money.

This smart automation is a logical step and through the ownR platform Advanced Analytics can also help improve many other operational processes like these with minimal impact to Fokker Services employees.


Immediate cost savings

Achieving cost savings for recurring data requests is the most immediate result. Now that Product Management is getting the same information that they are used to at a lower cost, the next question is: how can Advanced Analytics deliver more insights out of that information that is collected?

Better business decisions

A Jupyter Notebook ( example was created - hosted with secure access controls by the ownR platform - to tell the data story and have better conversations with operations colleagues. The goal is to help them make better decisions based on deeper insight into market conditions e.g. by building a recommendation engine.

Many Fokker aircrafts have changed ownership in the past years, in some regions this means flying less frequently, which decreases the market for its spare parts. Within the Fokker Services Spare Parts business, one of the focuses of Product Management is ‘dead stock’ inventory selling to increase cash flows.

These same deeper insights into the market can also help Fokker Services become more effective in understanding where the opportunities are to decrease stock levels with the highest possible margins.

Future Impact Potential

Advanced Analytics are now ready to explore the potential more broadly across the Fokker Services business.

This smart automation is a logical step and through the ownR platform Advanced Analytics can also help improve many other operational processes like these with minimal impact to Fokker Services employees.

Augmenting expert knowledge also means that Fokker Services will be able to respond faster and with increased effectiveness to RFQs.

ownR Business Benefits

Advanced Analytics builds enterprise-ready Analytic Apps in Dash ( to communicate with the business, all fully supported by the ownR platform.

The front-end applications are kept really simple, all business logic is exposed as an API so it can also be used from another front-end or Microsoft products like Excel. ownR supports any model written in R, Python or applications weaving R and Python together

By using the ownR platform businesses do not need to be IT experts and understand everything about containerisation and deployment processes, etc. to bring ideas to production literally in seconds and respond really fast to changing demands of their internal clients.

Automation brought by ownR makes this really easy and helps to demonstrate the ability to provide ‘Analytics as a Service’ to the business.

IT on the other hand can remain in control without controlling the team directly. Instead of viewing each analytics solution as an application to be reviewed, approved and supported, IT instead sees the ownR platform as a single application IT can trust. Using APIs and production quality applications makes communication between Advanced Analytics and IT much simpler.

ownR allows Fokker Advanced Analytics to remain flexible while at the same time offer increased security with reduced IT effort.