AirBorn keeps space missions on course with the help of Oracle Cloud
“With Oracle CX Service, Oracle CPQ, and Oracle CX Commerce, we’re able to take billions of different parts combinations and help guide a customer, in a very easy way, to the right set of products they need.”
Keeping satellites and other spacecraft in orbit for programs such as the New Horizon Space Probe, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and Orion is among AirBorn’s top priorities.
The company fabricates and stress tests a wide range of cables, harnesses, and connectors to withstand all sorts of harsh conditions in space. But it wasn’t easy for AirBorn’s space-exploration customers—the likes of NASA, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin—to find the right components to support a spacecraft’s mission, because each of the company’s connectors could have up to 20,000 different combinations within the same product line.
Even with the digital parts builder that used to be on AirBorn’s website, its customers still had to consult printed parts catalogs and request support from product engineers to find the right combinations of components in order to configure and place their orders.
And because that parts-builder system didn’t integrate with AirBorn’s production and pricing systems, the company had to manually enter orders into one of its four on-premise ERP systems. Its manufacturing and procurement teams would then have to go into those applications to create a bill of material and cost out the order.
“By the time we were ready to quote the order, we were already a week behind schedule,” says Robert Kleinschmidt, senior vice president of sales and marketing.
Why AirBorn chose Oracle
Using Oracle CX Service, AirBorn customers can now easily configure products, request quotes, and submit orders with little or no help from the vendor’s staff.
Not only have these self-service capabilities helped condense the quote creation process to a few hours from up to two weeks, but they’ve also reduced order input times to just minutes from several days, and decreased both order creation and order processing errors by 70 percent.
Using the search engine and optimization capabilities in Oracle CX Commerce, AirBorn has digitized all of its print catalogs and created a huge library of key phrases that match natural language descriptions for each of its product families.
AirBorn is also using Oracle CX Commerce to sell its newly launched stress-testing services, letting customers customize product configurations for individual missions on demand.
With a single view across service, sales, CPQ, and back-office systems, the process for listing the quantities of each part needed and then costing out the work to make and deliver the finished system is now completely automated.
Once AirBorn’s customers have configured their products and provided special instructions in Oracle Commerce Cloud, the application instantly notifies one of the company’s ERP systems, which creates a bill of material, calculates a cost, determines the production lead time, and works up a price.