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Case study

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Our client is a world leader in the manufacture and servicing of auxiliary power units, gas turbine engines and other rotables – specifically for use in civil and military aircraft.


Delivery of a reliable and rapid response system
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The challenge

We were approached to design and manage a rapid response, time-definite logistics network to collect engines and rotables from airlines, deliver them to service points and return them to carriers.

It was also our role to establish a tax and duty free warehouse for rapid response distribution.

Airline collections had to occur within a 30-minute window. Products were transported to transit containers at a UK service point, then taken to European facilities, with new parts, for servicing, before being sent back to the UK for further components, and repacked onto cradles for delivery.

The period between original collection to delivery, including all intermediate steps, could not exceed 22 hours. We needed to create and install a unique tracking system that would show the location of engines and rotables, and their status within their location.

This system had to take account of type, number and identification changes with service rebuild upgrades, and include client, airline and Woodland references for the use of all three parties.

Not least, we would need to:

  • Deliver exceptional reporting against agreed timeframes – including servicing.
  • Operate a secure warehouse for engines and rotables for emergency supply to carriers within Europe. This would have with capability for Aircraft on Ground response (two hours from instruction to dispatch).
  • Ensure full Customs compliance for the movement of very high value VAT and Duty free engines and components.
  • Ensure full compliance with FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) regulations.

How we delivered

We offer expert personalised solutions to help your business succeed. We delivered the following services to help this client's growth.

The solution

Initially, our supply chain solutions team conducted in-depth meetings with the client, the carriers, the London-based FAA and CAA, and Customs. Thanks to their work, all needs were totally understood, recorded and signed off.


Next, each step in the process and its associated timings were charted. By working with all parties, we integrated pick-up and delivery times into a transportation matrix, involving specialised vehicles with precisely defined schedules and tasks.

Our next stage was to write the software for the tracking system and train both Woodland Group and client staff in it, as well as creating access to data for the client’s customers. We ensured that the software would update at each key movement stage and each change in product description.


We constructed the warehouse within a Woodland Aviation Security Approved facility at Heathrow, controlled in accordance with FAA/CAA regulations. We selected a mix of Woodland and third-party transportation for physical movements. Each one met equipment, timing and security requirements.

Finally, the Woodland Customs management team took the responsibility of ensuring compliance with Customs regulations. All processes were woven into detailed operating procedures – and all parties were trained in them.

The team

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The result

Our client can now meet its customers’ needs through the fast turnaround and delivery of high capital value items.

We succeeded in meeting all design criteria at minimum cost. Not only did we deliver a reliable and rapid response system, we achieved the demanding time-definite standards too.

  • Delivered an inventory which operated in a VAT and Duty free environment, compliant with FAA/CAA requirements and European Customs regulations. 
  • Tracked all items with exception reporting of KPIs, including those outside agreed standards during client servicing operations.

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