A typical passenger aircraft contains approximately 3 million different parts, and there are more than 1,000 different manufacturers that produce the spare parts needed for routine maintenance. As you might expect, the global supply chain for the aerospace industry is an extremely complex one.

Satair, part of Airbus, is a global leader for commercial spare parts, and they’re making it easy for their customers to find all the parts they need in one place with the launch of a new third-party marketplace. With their Mirakl-powered Marketplace, they’ll become the first one-stop shop in the aerospace industry, increasing their parts catalog by 6X without investing in new inventory.

But their vision for the marketplace goes beyond spare parts. The long-term goal for Satair is to create a true digital ecosystem that connects their customers with all of the aftermarket products and services that they need for aircraft maintenance. 

We want to become the lighthouse for digital within the aerospace industry. We want to do this with a one-stop marketplace, so all our customers can buy all the parts they need for aircraft flying from us.

Christian Agger, Head of Digital & Business Transformation, Satair 

Christian Agger EAB-1

Watch: How Satair is becoming a market leader with the platform model

Why marketplace? Satair takes the lead to simplify customers’ lives

Christian Agger, Head of Digital & Business Transformation at Satair, joined Mirakl co-founder and U.S. CEO Adrien Nussenbaum at the Mirakl Marketplace and Platform Summit in Paris to share Satair’s marketplace journey: why they chose to launch a spare parts marketplace, and how their marketplace will transform the way that the aerospace industry operates.

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Christian Agger, Head of Digital & Business Transformation at Satair joins Mirakl co-founder and U.S. CEO Adrien Nussenbaum on stage at the Mirakl Marketplace & Platform Summit

Adrien Nussenbaum: You say, “If we don’t take this position, someone else will.” Can you tell us a little more about this reality?

Christian Agger: Let me tell you a little bit more about what happened last year – we saw a very big competitor coming into the market. eBay decided to go into our market last year. If you went to B2B at ebay.com, you actually went into an aviation spare parts marketplace. So, suddenly, we were seeing pure play retailers coming into our market. 

Luckily, they decided to leave the market a few months ago, but they won't be the last one. We will see Amazon trying. We will see a lot of other companies trying, both traditional competitors and pure players coming from the retail industry.

Adrien Nussenbaum: I think everyone here has the challenge of new entrants trying to penetrate their market. When it comes to your marketplace project, is it something that you are using to drive your customers to digitize themselves, or are your customers telling you, “Come on, you need to do something a bit more modern?”

Christian Agger: Our customers are concerned about how they make their aircraft fly, and how they keep their aircraft in the air. They don’t care about marketplaces. What we’re trying to do is to bring down the transaction cost when they want to buy a part from us. 

If you go to our customers, very often you’ll find they have a small piece of paper in their back pocket. It’s a list of twenty different sites with passwords and usernames that they have to go through in order to find the right spare part. Imagine the hassle, when you have an aircraft grounded, and you have 4 hours to find a solution to get it up and flying again. 

By having this marketplace, providing spare parts for all the different aircraft out there, we can increase transaction speed dramatically and lower the transaction costs for our customers. That’s really the value that they see with us.

Adrien Nussenbaum: Can we assume that everyone in the room will fly a plane that has a part sold on your marketplace?

Christian Agger: Yeah, definitely.

Adrien Nussenbaum: That’s pretty cool. Last question: you talk a lot about enhancing the value for customers on this marketplace. One of the new areas where Mirakl has been active over the last couple years is in service marketplaces. Can you share your vision around that? 

Christian Agger: Selling parts is, of course, a very important part of having a marketplace. But where we see a big benefit in the future is the ecosystem of services around the marketplace. 

Here, we are very much inspired by what Alibaba is doing, because they're really strong in creating these kinds of value-added services. That could be freight forwarding or financial services, but also services based on big data. So for us, services on the marketplace are really important for the future vision of selling. 

It’s not only the aerospace industry that’s ready for digital transformation. It’s all industries. All B2B companies should look at what digital means for them, because the business model will change.

Christian Agger, Head of Digital & Business Transformation, Satair 

Christian Agger EAB-1

Going beyond conventional distribution channels with a B2B marketplace 

Satair is seizing the aftermarket opportunity and becoming the aerospace industry’s first one-stop shop. They’re just one of the Platform Pioneers taking the lead in the B2B marketplace revolution: Toyota Material Handling USA recently launched the MyToyota Store bringing their distributors’ sales online with Mirakl, and Siemens Mobility is using Mirakl to power the Easy Spares Marketplace, the first B2B marketplace in the mobility industry.

The B2B move to marketplace is a smart one: 87% of business buyers across all age demographics are already making business purchases through marketplaces. Don’t let your competitors beat you to the marketplace punch. Connect with Mirakl’s Marketplace Experts today to start your journey in the platform revolution. 

Sara Matasci

Written by Sara Matasci

Content Marketing Manager at Mirakl

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