A recent survey by an Aviation Consulting firm on MRO software adoption during a recent industry conference revealed an interesting insight: that over 80% of the Airlines and MROs are not wholly satisfied with the MRO system that they currently use.
The same survey goes on to elaborate that only 50% of an Airline or MRO’s business tasks are technologically enabled through the MRO system: implying that half the tasks that were meant to be eradicated off manually are still being carried out manually. While there are, rightfully, no “one-size-fits-all” solutions out there in the market, Airlines and MROs need to ensure they utilize as much of the system they have in place to maximize realization of benefits.
One of the challenges Airlines and MROs face, in equal measure, is to match their pace of adoption of systems to the rate at which technology and innovation are growing: good MRO software firms cover these as part of their development roadmaps while also conducting process workshops to ensure their customer base is able to transition to these features and tools seamlessly during an upgrade. The same study noted that less than 40% of Airlines & MROs are on the latest releases of their software.
So, where does one draw the line between an internal failure of the Airline or MRO to utilize the system in place versus the system being not fit for purpose? Three important points to consider:
1. Business Process Catalogue
It is important to document the Business Process Catalogue that lists:
Each business function within your organization – depending on whether you are an Airline that outsources maintenance, manage maintenance in-house; or an MRO that does Heavy Checks, Line Checks and / or Component Maintenance
Workflows within each business function
E.g. CAMO – creation of Work Package from Aircraft Maintenance Forecast & Defects, Part 145 – Capacity Planning and Task Card execution of a check, Inventory – Material Planning – Short & Long term etc.,
Identifying critical paths and risks within these workflows
2. Mapping of Business Processes
Each business process – workflow needs to be mapped to an equivalent MRO system function. This process allows the organization to understand the various process that can be automated, semi-automated with their respective criticalities. This will provide Airlines and MROs with an idea on the percentage of technology enablement within each business process. The process-system fit-gap analysis is the outcome of such an exercise.
3. External Tools and Software used
External tools and dependencies (MS Office, Content Management Systems, Flight Operations Systems, HR & Finance Systems, Safety Management Systems etc.,) that house data and require interfaces to the MRO system need to be listed, their organic interface-ability mapped (i.e. similar or dis-similar data bases) and the frequency of data exchange ascertained. Having inorganic systems trying to communicate with one and other is cumbersome and laborious.
The outcomes of the above process will define if an organization needs to:
- Adopt its existing system functions better (i.e. enable higher utilization of system functions)
- Or Upgrade to a higher release to address gaps that exist between process and system
- Or scout around for a new MRO system that allows the Airline or MRO to experience benefits realizations with their set goals
The need to change MRO systems will only be necessitated with signs that point to the system’s inability to technologically enable most of your business processes, or the MRO software vendor’s roadmap not in line with the direction in which the industry is heading.
While IATA and ATA have come up with guidelines for electronic exchange of information within the Aviation Ecosystem, such an ideal scenario can only be reached when Airlines & MROs are maintaining the required data, in its correct form, within their MRO system and also having required functions within the MRO system to communicate electronically with their partners and supply chain vendors.
Where EXSYN Can Help
Having dealt with most MRO systems out there in the market today, coupled with expertise combining several thousand man hours of work with over 30 Airlines and MROs spanning across a fleet size of over 1450 aircraft, our consultants have expertise in conducting process fit-gap analysis based on your organizational requirements, goals and the existing system(s) you have in place.
Our consultants can carry out a data scan and study and provide you with a report on:
- Best practices if the current MRO system is being retained and how the gap in technology enablement can be achieved through other tools
- Methodology to adopt to switch systems if the current system lacks functionality and future to align with your business goals
- Define key characteristics and functions required in the new MRO system to experience benefits realization based on your goals
- Assistance with data audits, validation and migration to move to a new system