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Businesses face many hazards – from currency gyrations, regulatory compliance difficulties, geopolitical changes, natural disasters, and constantly changing customer needs.

This Case Study describes the management of the global supply chain for an aerospace OEM, and therefore the case relates most specifically to the delivery of aircraft.

However, the overall problem is generic across many products, services, and verticals, where supply chains are massive and complex.

Moreover, it relates to other complex sequential processes that have characteristics similar to supply chains (e.g., value stream maps, production processes, etc.). 

In This Case Study You Will Learn

  • How BOXARR can manage massive scale (hundreds of thousands of boxes, millions of data objects).

  • How a BOXARR model can be created and updated by information from multiple data sources (and information can be roundtripped from BOXARR to other sources).

  • How functions and macros can supplement BOXARR models to facilitate critical workflows for understanding and managing complexity, saving time and money, and reducing risk. 

  • How benefits from BOXARR models can be distributed to a broader audience within an enterprise via nSight, thus leveraging enterprise insights into complexity.


Overcoming Complexity in a Massive Global Supply Chain of an Aerospace OEM 




The Customer Challenge | Unprecedented complexity and time criticality

Airbus is an industry-leading manufacturer and designer of aerospace products, services, and solutions to customers on a global scale.

The company is one of only two international heavy commercial aircraft OEMs and is the largest aerospace corporation in Europe. 

Airbus has built on its strong European heritage to become truly international – with roughly 180 locations and 12,000 direct suppliers globally.

The company has aircraft and helicopter final assembly lines across Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and has achieved a more than six-fold order book increase since 2000.

Over the last 45 years, Airbus has built a reputation by reacting to market demands, developing and evolving its products to meet the needs of its customers and the wider world.

As such, technological innovation has been at the core of Airbus’ strategy since its inception.

Supply Chain Mapping

Airbus commercial aircraft may have the largest, most globalised, and most complex supply chain in the world.

The enormous complexity of the Airbus civil aircraft manufacturing supply chain means it is very difficult to have an overview let alone understand all the stakeholders involved in a given value chain, not to mention the relationships that these suppliers have with other suppliers.

As such it is difficult to quickly identify the impact of any disturbance in the supply chain or to identify those suppliers who are at higher risk.

For example, some suppliers will have a great number of dependencies in the supply chain, or they might be subject to a potential geopolitical risk, or they could provide their components across multiple aircraft programs.

On-Time Delivery

The delivery of Airbus products on a schedule is of an almost unprecedented criticality.

Disruptions to that delivery can cost tens of thousands of euros per day or more.

Airbus wished to speed up its response to supply chain emergencies to avoid these potentially devastating costs.

They also wanted individuals across their organisation to gain a more general understanding of their supply chain, so that it can be better utilised, engineered, and fine-tuned over time.

nSight BOXARR dashboards

Expected Outcome

Airbus wished to reduce their response time to supply chain emergencies (which can be caused by economic, environmental, political, and many other factors). 

They also wished to have a better understanding of their supply chain for a broad spectrum of engineering and planning activities in the future.


After a competitive bid process for tools that could handle this challenge, BOXARR was selected to help, and the Airbus team was assigned to work with BOXARR to create the supply chain model.

Since that initial engagement, Airbus now has a dedicated team that uses the model and works closely with BOXARR.

Would you like to read more about the BOXARR Solution?
Download the full Case Study.

Overcoming Complexity in a Global Supply Chain | AIRBUS

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