My Job? Supply Chain Engineer Boeing 737

Posted by at 15:07

When I tell people that I work for KLM, they invariably respond by asking, “Oh! Are you a stewardess?” So, I have to tell them, “No, I’m not a cabin attendant. I work for KLM’s Maintenance division. I’m responsible for component availability.” That’s usually the point at which the conversation about my job ends. Clearly, it’s not nearly as sexy as working as a stewardess or pilot.

What do I do, exactly

As Supply Chain Engineer Boeing 737, I’m responsible for the availability of aircraft components for the ‘Availability Management’ department within the ‘Component Services’ branch. I do that for KLM’s fifty Boeing 737’s and for more than 500 aircraft for customers of Component Services.

Component

A Boeing 737 is built up of about 3,000 components, all of which are divided into categories – for instance, Navigation, Lights, or Fuel. If components are damaged, for whatever reason, they must be replaced. Some will be replaced during the A and C check. They can also be replaced when a plane at the gate cannot depart without a specific component.

Component services

Endless repairs

It’s my job to determine how many components remain in stock in warehouses at Schiphol Oost, Schiphol Centrum, and at KLM warehouses around the world. In addition to stock quantities, I arrange for repairs and deliveries to Component Services’ customers. In each case, I make a consideration between lead time, costs, and optimum stock amounts to determine the right choice for the inventory.

Flight Data Recorder

When I speak of components, I’m referring to rotables parts. In theory, the aircraft components that I plan can be endlessly repaired. There are also “consumables” such as nuts and bolts, screws, paint, carpet, etc. They cannot be repaired – they can only be used once. And, alongside these two categories, there are ‘reparable’ articles that can only be repaired once. In many cases these are components of a remanufactured part.

Safe and sound

No two days are the same in my job. One moment, I’ll be analysing which components are the most commonly requested for a particular customer. Another time I’ll be looking at whether it’s cheaper to borrow or buy a component. I do all of this at Schiphol Oost, where KLM’s hangars are located so we can give our aircraft – and those of our customers – the attention they need, and then send them off again, safe and sound, to every corner of the earth.

Component services

How to make my day

Be honest. Had you ever heard of my job until now? I didn’t think so. So let’s agree that, the next time you meet someone who works at KLM, you think of me. Then you can ask, “Oh, do you work as a Supply Chain Engineer Boeing 737?”

Do you have a job that’s both challenging and unheard of? Please let me know. I’m curious to hear about it.

27 Responses to My Job? Supply Chain Engineer Boeing 737

  1. EMUAKPEJEKESSENA

    HI KLM LOVE

    • Russell Cruickshank

      Hello Shejanie. So cool that you have a job that you like, while no one outside your airline even knows about it. I work at the airport in Toronto, and my job is the airport’s tour guide. People are just now starting to learn that we have tours but we don’t promote it because, well, it’s just me, and that makes it hard to accommodate all the requests. If you come to Toronto we’ll find a way to give you a behind-the-scenes of stuff you don’t get to see in the hangars at Schipol!

      • Shejanie Jagmohan

        Hi Russell,

        That’s an offer I can’t refuse! If I ever visit Toronto I will take a tour at the airport :)

  2. David Harris

    Hello Shejanie,

    I very much enjoyed your blog. Having worked in airline catering for almost two decades, I have a true appreciation of how every department impacts the other. Good luck in keeping the B-737 flying high. Cheers, David

    • Shejanie Jagmohan

      Dear David,

      Thank you for your comment. Airline catering is as challenging as aircraft components, for sure!

  3. Joanne Vogt

    Hi!
    Great article! When I tell people I have my own company they usually think I bake muffins or make something out of my house. Then I tell them it is an Aviation Engineering and Manufacturing Company. That is usually followed up by a confused stare.
    What you do is important and exciting. Many people take for granted all that goes into their flights being safe and on time!
    Cheers, Joanne

    • Shejanie Jagmohan

      Hi Joanne,

      My job is very exciting! Aviation engineering and manufacturing is very unknown and good to hear that you are aware of flight safety :)

  4. Frans Eikelboom

    Dear Shejanie,

    I work for Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) as a senior logistics supply chain manager in AfterSales. I loved your blog. If you think logistics is one of the most exciting jobs in the world you are right. I fly frequently and my sister work as a flight attendant for KLM. I think the job of a pilot or flight attendant has the most repetition. Our jobs are the challenging ones. My job is a little bit more complex than at KLM. My company built the first car, the first truck and the first omnibus even before KLM was founded. We have to deliver our products in far more countries that KLM flies to.
    If you ever seek a harder logistical challenge, try Daimler. We love KLM because you also forward some of our airfreight reliable.
    I love KLM when I am your freight. I have regular flight experience with some 30 airlines. The flight attendance at KLM is simply the best.
    Because they love their job not only for a living but for trying to exceed the individual customer expectations.
    KR Frans

    • Shejanie Jagmohan

      Hi Frans,

      Thank you for your compliment about my blog. If I ever get bored of airplanes (which I highly doubt haha) I will take into account to enter the automotive world. Also, good to hear your company is a returning customer of our Cargo services :)

  5. Andrew Dawson

    Thanks Shejanie & KLM,

    I work in a warehouse and I’ve worked with aircraft parts in the past. All of those little bits & pieces are very critical for the safety of everyone and shouldn’t be underestimated.

    • Shejanie Jagmohan

      Dear Andrew,

      Indeed! Flight safety is very important :)

  6. Roxanne

    Great blog! Really nice to hear about it!

    • Shejanie Jagmohan

      Thanks <3

  7. Van Rijn

    Very interesting! Flying with a KLM B737 next week so I’ll be thinking about the good service in components that enables the plane into the air!

  8. Yozu

    I work for a public buscompany. No I am not a driver and most of my work is done when it is dark outside. I am reponsible that all 80 buses in my depot get fuel every night. That cooling-water and oil is checked. Also all buses are cleaned inside and every 2 days washed outside. I think in Holland you will find more airline-pilots then bus-nightservice people.

    • Shejanie Jagmohan

      Dear Yozu,

      Nice to hear about your job!

  9. Peter Murray

    Yep, I’m aware of your role, done similar work on both civil and military aircraft, interesting,often overlooked job.

  10. Onthew

    waar is jouw foto dan?

  11. Erwin

    A Great and responsable job. Nice explanation about your job.
    Erwin

  12. Robert Ehrencron

    Hi Shejanie,
    Very nice concept. Clear elucidation about Component Services and your job. Keep doing this :-)

    • Shejanie Jagmohan

      Dear Robert,

      Thank you for your comment. Will keep you updated :)

  13. Jorge Correia

    Hi Shejanie , fantastic article.
    Quite enlightening the way you define your work, you transmit a certain passion in the way you present this article.
    Keep going like this.
    Well done.
    Jorge Correia

    • Shejanie Jagmohan

      Hi Jorge,

      Thank you for your kind words, appreciated.

  14. Onthew

    Is voorraadbeheer dan nog mensenwerk? computers en zo….

  15. Raymond

    Nice Blog! People who are in Procurement or Logistics know what a Supply Chain Engineer is, don’t worry. I guess only ~20 % or even less of KLM staff do the actual flying. All others are in support of flight operations…

    • Shejanie Jagmohan

      Dear Raymond,

      Yes, I do have a big group of flying colleagues and we all have the same goal; to ensure a safe flight operation

  16. LOLITA M.BALBOA

    Very nice blog. And am happy that KLM always care to their passengers. That’s why, I want KLM – since 1993 – am one of your passengers up to the present. Every time I visited my sister in Brussels or we had an educational tour in Europe – KLM is our priority airline.

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