In recent years, the aviation industry has been edging closer and closer towards paperless operations, especially since handheld technologies like iPads, smartphones and tablets have been embraced by the market and used from cockpit to hangar.
Indeed, aviation organisations are seeing the benefit of investing in such mobile solutions, which provide better communication and streamlined processes, as well as the advanced IT platforms that they can host.
Preparing for the future paperless industry is certainly becoming a strategy that many businesses are adopting. And, as ‘Big Data‘ and next-generation products affect how airlines manage everything from data to crew, the industry has seen a trend in carriers upgrading their legacy IT systems to solutions that move away from paper documentation and better reflect today’s innovative and forward thinking market.
According to an article in International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) magazine, ‘Airlines International’, electronic documentation will make way for “easy access at the front line”, while reducing the need to go back to the desk to get a paper. Chris Markou at the company explained that through a paperless set-up “everything can be sent/accessed instantly, even in remote areas”.
A paperless industry, in IATA’s eyes, would also ensure that “all aircraft major parts have back-to-birth records that show compliance with the necessary regulations and quality controls at all times”.
So safety would definitely be improved, not only because of the aforementioned points but also because only qualified engineers would carry out work and important details such as expirations dates would be made far more obvious.
Thus, it’s evident that a paperless environment is a more cost-effective and reliable place to operate within, thanks to real-time data and key documentation being available at just a few taps of a button.
But how can the IT solutions that are available in today’s market help a business move forward and operate profitably in a digital era?
Here are eight of the reasons why a system like Rusada’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) platform, ‘Envision’, will give an aviation organisation a competitive edge to allow them to stay one step ahead in a time of significant change.
- Maintenance events can be planned and scheduled easily
While Envision provides an end user with access to all the maintenance documentation that it needs to carry out work cards and tasks, including available parts, tooling information and aircraft records, it also enables customers to view and plan capacity effectively.
So, through the maintenance management functionality, MRO providers are able to plan and schedule maintenance activities, such as scheduled inspections, Airworthiness Directives (AD)/Service Bulletins (SB) orders and third party work, including contract terms, quotations and final invoices.
- Customers can access reliable data on demand, anywhere in the world
Envision customers can be confident that their data is reliable and up to date. And, when upgrading from a legacy system they can rest assured that data won’t get lost in the transition.
In fact, as part of its ‘Maintenance Manager’ module, the platform has an extensive suite of data migration tools that allow for a controlled installation and mass data imports to speed the move from the legacy system.
Certainly, upgrading to a comprehensive IT system will have a significant impact on a business and Envision helps its customers to operate using ‘good data’, while providing on demand access to digital versions of maintenance documentation and aircraft logs, among other things.
- Engineers are able to operate more efficiently
Within an MRO workshop, it’s really important for engineers to have access to all the information that they need, instantly.
From accessing real-time stock levels and tooling availability to knowing the tasks that have been assigned to them, Envision, together with mobile devices, allows an engineer to be fully connected while on the shop floor, allowing them to work more efficiently and cost-effectively.
- Communication is improved, company-wide
Since the introduction of electronic flight bags in the cockpit and tablets within the hangar, airlines have benefited from improved air to ground communication and streamlined processed.
And an IT system like Envision, which has several modules including: Fleet Management, Maintenance Management, Operations Management, Materials Management, Quality and Safety Management, Resource Management and Finance Management, only improves company-wide communication through its comprehensive, yet user friendly, tools/functions.
- Data can be utilised effectively
Over the last couple of years, airlines have enjoyed an increase in profits, as a result of economic factors like lower fuel prices, which means they’ve been able to spend more on advanced solutions.
A solution of choice has certainly been the integrated IT MRO system because of the 360° view it gives customers, alongside real-time data.
And, as next-generation products have been developed with data in mind, the companies that have so far joined the digital evolution are already benefiting the wealth of information that is now available to them, allowing them to introduce more time- and cost-effective processes like predictive or preventative maintenance.
- MRO providers can maximise the bottom line
The handheld technologies and IT systems that are driving the paperless movement right now make way for quicker turnaround times, allowing MRO providers to offer more competitive services and run more profitably.
While being able to log and account for all tasks, including non-routine jobs that sometimes go unpaid, ensures that end-users are accounting for every penny spent and owed, thus maximising the bottom line.
- Regulatory information can be accessed in real-time
Not only does Envision’s ‘Fleet Management’ module allow customers to access ADs but it also loads the regulations that are issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) directly into the system.
This allows an airline or third party MRO to determine applicability, perform a cost analysis, release the associated engineering order and then track AD or SB activity across its fleet, within a web environment.
- And, because embracing technological innovation is the key to success
As the aviation industry moves at such a fast pace, airlines and MROs can’t help but gravitate towards innovation and technological advancements.
So the idea of a paperless environment and all the amazing technology that will comes with it, is exciting to say the least.
And with constant pressure on airlines and MRO providers to stand out in a bustling market, leading the way is what gives these companies a competitive edge.