Honeywell Aerospace Trade is the first storefront on the new GoDirect blockchain aviation aftermarket parts online e-commerce platform. (Honeywell Aerospace)
Honeywell is using blockchain technology to modernize the process of buying and selling used aircraft parts in what it calls an industry first, with its new GoDirect Trade aerospace e-commerce platform.
GoDirect Trade uses an Amazon-style online marketplace where Honeywell and other companies establish their own individual storefronts featuring aircraft parts such as primary flight displays or thrust reverser modules. Potential buyers of those parts can view the entire lifecycle of everything they buy. The number of hours in service, repairs made and actual operators who used each individual part are all stored within the blockchain ledger hosted by Honeywell on GoDirect Trade.
The first storefront using the new blockchain platform is Honeywell Aerospace Trading (HAT), which sells used commercial air transport, business and general aviation fixed- and rotary-wing pre-owned certified parts. Honeywell officially went live with the new platform on Nov. 17 with no marketing or official announcement alongside it and has already registered more than 300 buyers and processed nearly $250,000 in online transactions, according to Lisa Butters, GM of GoDirect Trade.
Blockchain is a data structure that has the ability to establish a digital archive or record blocks of data such as transactions that can be shared and easily accessed by users across networks of different computers. In recent years, several companies have explored potential uses of blockchain for other areas of aviation including storing and updating aircraft maintenance data or purchasing airline tickets. SITA is using blockchain as a single source of information sharing between British Airways and Heathrow, Geneva and Miami International airports.
Honeywell is using the technology to provide reassurance about the status of aircraft parts for potential buyers, which is a difficult task in the aviation aftermarket. According to Butters, less than 2.5% of global purchasing of used aircraft parts occurs online, mainly because buyers want more information than is usually readily available about each part through online listings. Sellers also find it difficult to have parts available when the purchase is made.
“There’s a lot of trust that is needed in the process of buying and selling used aircraft parts," Butters said. "Using blockchain helps to tell a story to the buyer of each part’s entire history from the time it left the manufacturing facility to when it became listed online for purchasing."
Here's what Honeywell's blockchain-based GoDirect aircraft parts store looks like.
HAT is the first storefront featured on GoDirect Trade, but Butters said there are six other early collaborators who will be opening their own storefronts in January. One of those early adopters has been confirmed as StandardAero Total Aircraft Spares.
Any company looking to open a storefront on GoDirect Trade is required to provide a current image of the part, price and documentation of all of the repairs and number of hours it has been in service, on what aircraft and operated by what company.
Butters describes GoDirectTrade as a blend between an “Amazon-like customer experience” with one that enables the traditional B2B buying experience with which most buyers of used aircraft parts are familiar.
“Up until now, the ability to shop for spare parts online with prices, product images and quality documentation all in one place was unheard of for the aviation industry,” she said.