How does Sonaca Aircraft S.A. benefit from CT PUBLISHER?

In my previous blog post, I explained about the importance of providing a world-class Customer Experience in after-sales operations for your customers, through the use of self-service digitalized solutions and platforms, thus enabling manufacturing companies to achieve:

  • Faster time to resolution in customer service and after-sales requests
  • Operating cost savings by concentrating service requests to a single digital channel
  • Generation of additional revenues through spare part sales and product upgrades over an easy to use, engaging self-service web platform

In this article, I shall explain how one of our customers has already achieved this through the digitalization of the after-sales process.

Sonaca Aircraft S.A. was founded and started developing small planes for serial production in 2015. The company is a subsidiary of the Sonaca Group, which was founded back in 1931 in Gosselies, Belgium. The company specializes in the development, manufacturing, and delivery of small planes for consumers, such as the Sonaca S200 -model. Sonaca Aircraft has applied a lot of digital best practices from the big aircraft manufacturers (the Sonaca group) and use them now in general aviation, too.

For their customers, Sonaca Aircraft S.A. aims to ensure high-quality after-sales service and good availability of spare parts for the aircraft. Even though these are smaller aircraft, the Sonaca S200 plane, for example, consists of approximately 3300 individual parts with 1300 unique part numbers, which leads to a degree of complexity that presents a challenge for managing any after-sales operations. As Sonaca Aircraft S.A. is a relatively young and very dynamic company, from the offset, they did not plan on employing many people for only managing the after-sales operations. Instead, they used the existing designs and engineering efforts (=models produced with SOLIDWORKS CAD, and production data stored in Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP). They decided to automate the administration of most of the crucial after-sales information and management systems, at the same time providing their customers (and their service partners) a world-class self-service web portal for any after-sales and maintenance inquiries as well as information needs.

With the help of ATR Soft’s CUSTOMTOOLS -suite and the CT PUBLISHER -platform, their after-sales operations have also reached a high level of automatization. Today, Sonaca are using CT PUBLISHER for

  • Publishing their spare part catalogs to their customers and their service partners, along with a webshop where the customer can directly order needed spare parts with just a couple of clicks (without having to pick up the phone). Spare part catalogs can be unique for each delivered aircraft, as each delivered aircraft is unique for the individual customer, and has a unique Production BOM in the ERP system
  • Selling consumables and maintenance tooling for the customers and service partners through the same webshop, as they need these in maintenance operations, in addition to the actual spare parts
  • Gathering all aircraft specific instruction manuals and maintenance documents in one, easy-to-access storage
  • Visualizing the product structures in a web browser -native 3D format for guiding the repair operations for the service personnel
  • Publishing and storing service bulletins, which are also required by the authorities to be kept readily accessible for all relevant parties (manufacturer, customer, service personnel, aviation authorities)

In the future, Sonaca even plans to release aircraft-specific monitoring data into the web platform for the customers to use, and for service personnel to anticipate maintenance needs. And as they are using the standard access control mechanisms of CT PUBLISHER, they can be sure that the customers only see data that is relevant for them, i.e., access is limited to only the unique aircraft they have purchased from the manufacturer.

On top of the standard CT PUBLISHER implementation, Sonaca has also integrated the web platform with their Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP system, enabling them to update spare part prices, stock status, and other relevant information automatically via data transfer (without having to enter the same data into several databases manually). Additionally, they write all orders done on the webshop back to their NAV ERP system for shipping and handling purposes. The seamless integration with the ERP system is a big time saver and is an efficient way of driving down operating costs in the after-sales area.

To summarize, using the CT PUBLISHER platform and integrating it into their design and manufacturing systems has enabled Sonaca to…

  • Provide direct and easy-to-use web access to their customers for all data related to the delivered aircrafts
  • Optimizing their after-sales operations by having less time spent on administrative tasks, in fact, they currently only have one person maintaining the data, and it takes the person just a couple of minutes per week to keep the data up to date
  • Making sure the customer always knows the actual part prices and stock availability and can order spare parts with just a couple of clicks

How can I benefit from CT PUBLISHER?

If you are interested to hear about the possibilities the CT PUBLISHER platform could provide for you, we recommend that you schedule your demo with us today!


Olli Murto
Sales, Licensing

olli (@)
+358 407 784 386