Spares & Rotables Inventory Management


Client: Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)

The RAAF initiated a project to identify the opportunities associated with improving service levels, reducing inventory costs and balancing assets across the distribution network. An improved process was defined for delivery of the RAAF's opportunities, and the adoption of an inventory optimisation system / APS was identified as a fundamental part of the solution. After an exhaustive worldwide software selection process was undertaken, GAINS was selected as the preferred system.


The RAAF has the single largest inventory environment in Australia.

  • 70 locations and 600,000 items commenced with $675m in inventory
  • local and overseas suppliers with long lead times
  • slow moving items
  • 140 planners
  • MRO environment

The RAAF has been using GAINS to manage the break down spares for aviation equipment since 1996.

GRA won a multi-year contract to provide inventory management services and implement GAINS, a best-of-breed demand management and inventory optimisation system, across the whole of the Defence Forces.


Some of the key results delivered to the RAAF include:

  • $186m reduction in inventory (down from $675m to $489m)
  • 42% reduction of the number of items held in RAAF warehouses
  • 15+ percentage point increase in service levels
  • 67% reduction in understocked items, 47% increase in balanced items and 37% reduction in overstocked items
  • 70% reduction in the starting inventory management workload
  • Importantly – successful culture change

"We saved $14m in six months – here are the graphs. We're used to being promised these kinds of numbers; we're just not used to having them delivered."
Wing Commander, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)

A Certificate of Appreciation was awarded in recognition of "GRA's outstanding contribution to the optimisation of the ADF's aviation inventory".


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“GRA worked closely with our team to design, develop and deliver an end to end supply chain transformation. This involved implementing a demand-led supply chain that today drives a disciplined, integrated and effective S&OP process. Culturally, our organisation with help from GRA has significantly increased its awareness and appreciation for supply chain decision-making. The above has allowed us to improve our service levels & customer experience albeit whilst reducing inventory and supply chain operating expense.”

– Zel Medak , Regional Business Director (ANZ), Allnex

Typical results

  • 20-40% inventory investment reduction
  • increased service levels ranging up to 99.9%
  • 10%-15% reduction in supply chain operating costs
  • 5%-20% spend management savings
  • the ability to fund business initiatives from operating cash flow (OCF) improvements
  • improved return on capital employed (ROCE)
  • a minimum 3:1 ROI (10:1 to 30:1 typical)