Paul E Eden speaks to the key players in the MRO software market and finds that new technology will be critical to operations.

In an increasingly digital world, customers are demanding adaptability and connectivity from their MRO software systems. Many legacy products aren’t up to the task, and the market is busy with established users upgrading and a new breed of start-ups and CAMOs buying into the digital MRO revolution.

Airlines, maintenance providers and continuous airworthiness management organisations (CAMOs) have been using MRO software for many years, yet the market is witnessing an upsurge in interest. QAZAQ Air recently signed with the UK’s Rusada for its ENVISION MRO solution, for example, and Product Manager Ian Kent says: “I think all airlines, new and established are seeing MRO software solutions as critical to their operation. There was a period where subcontracting was seen as a way of reducing cost, particularly for new airlines with smaller fleets, but that trend seems to be reversing as operators realise that significant gains can be made by having greater control of their maintenance. Having a good software system is especially important if maintenance operations are managed in-house.”

Competition in the market is fierce, with a number of companies offering high-quality products, many of them modular, allowing customers to choose the functionalities relevant to them. Add together all ENVISION’s modules and it begins to look a great deal like an all-encompassing ERP system, but Kent says its focus is on solutions for MRO with additional support for flight operations. Also, as is common with MRO software, Rusada is able to interface ENVISION with a customer’s standalone financial package.

That said, he explains: “The Fleet Management module lies at the heart of the ENVISION solution, certainly for those customers who are responsible for airworthiness. It includes functions for managing asset configuration, maintenance programmes, maintenance planning and reliability monitoring. Together, these functions meet all the regulatory compliance requirements that an operator must adhere to.”

Adaptable solutions

With Air Chathams and Manta Air among other recent regional customers for Rusada’s ENVISION, it is obviously attractive to smaller operators as well as the traditional larger operators. Along with QAZAQ, all three operate turboprops, Air Chathams also employing pistons, demonstrating ENVISION’s suitability for mixed-type operations in small fleets but, Kent adds: “Large numbers of jets and helicopters are also managed on ENVISION. There is no optimum fleet size, since our software is fully scalable to match the needs of the customer. It can manage a fleet of one, or a fleet of one thousand.”

But that’s not all that brings airlines to Rusada’s door “We have a proven track record in the industry,” Kent emphasises, “Many regional and low cost airlines already use our software, which is cost-effective and highly configurable, with a simple, easy-to-use interface”.

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This feature was originally published in the June 2019 issue of Low Cost & Regional Airline Business.