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Aviation Industry

A Coronavirus (COVID-19) recovering economy, new cold war/tension in business ring, anti-globalization, and new business federations are all strong forces pressing upon the Airline Industry to think creatively in dealing with the paradigm shift of their operations, customer care, partnerships as well as new investment opportunities. How can the Airline industry identify, evaluate, and then optimize their business operations to better survive event elevate on these new domains? The increasing demands to quickly recover operational efficiencies, offer customers differentiated services at better margins, and keep pace with regulatory demands and the latest technology innovations are major tasks of airplane service companies to maintain leadership in competitive market segments. How can companies create and effectively manage these new methods and technologies?

Many modern aircraft operators have gone through multiple levels of technology evolution in a quest for new, more robust solutions in dealing with aircraft acquisitions, aircraft operations, business management, crew development, and customer cares. New applications have been acquired and new methods and procedures have been developed with varying degrees of success. An open and flexible Technology Infrastructure is especially important in the aforementioned abnormal business environments to extend the life of the wide array of Air Carriers’ services that exist and to allow these operators to adopt the various “best of breed” applications.  

The aircraft operators also need the ability to be more responsive to their customers’ and workers’ needs. As these Airline companies rely more on their dispersed regional engineers and mechanics, some even use contractors, to support their core differentiators, their employees depend more and more on being able to find information and perform analysis from their application systems. They need access to everything from marketing campaigns, OEM service contracts, engineering orders, parts management, critical service management information, the latest AOG records, etc. Timely and accurate information availability becomes a key enabling factor for them to succeed in performing their jobs.

Challenges in the following prime drivers of the new and integrated business assurance are:

Capability to Provide Impact Analysis – The failure of critical Business Applications can have a significant cost impact. For example, a failure that results in information not being available to support dispatch or recovery decisions can miss vital opportunities or, worse yet, yield flawed business decisions. It is paramount that the companies be able react quickly to situation changes and accurately assess the impacts to the business in order to take actions and set priorities accordingly.

Fault and Recovery Management – Today, operators’ accessibility to the full fleets’ collection of the fault isolation manual (FIM) troubleshooting procedures and their links to the CMC fault code are essentially manual. Likewise, association of the flight deck effect (FDE) EICAS messages with FIM troubleshooting procedures can be limited. OEM-provided tools for fault isolation and troubleshooting are often costly and specific. Such restrictions prevent the operators from performing effective central data monitoring, automatic detection, maintenance, and operational efficiency trending. As a result, the operators could not group these fault reports (from pilots, mechanics, and engineers) under a broad heading of recovery logic to identify repetitive issues -- not to mention the ability to potentially predict or prevent these faults.

Service Order Management – Engineering department is a core component of the Air carriers’ capability to assure the company’s seamless service operations. The complexity comes from the needs to deal with the OEM and other system suppliers required to maintain the fleets’ optimized aircraft integrity while coordinating with on-site mechanics to assure faults and/or service obtrusions are addressed timely. Although different mechanisms can be used to drive such complex coordination, it’d a challenge without an enterprise-level framework enabling the engineering managers and corporate executives to track and manage these task flows meanwhile with awareness of their correlations with the operational and financial implications.

Certificate Measurement – FAA requires all systems to be certified in order to warrant their airworthiness. Due to the fact that many operators are flying aircrafts from different OEMs and aircraft models, the certification management of these non-OEM equipped systems can carry large inventory information. However, since most of these records are stored in per vendor silos, these scattered data may be accessible but offer limited insight into their potential impact to the upcoming service plans, in the eyes of resource management.

Resource Measurement – Performance of resource management has direct correlation to corporate’s bottom-line. For instance, majority of AOG are with different service/mechanical conditions, an incompetent resource status cannot disclose the level of efforts required to support immediate service requirement thus lead to unexpected financial implications. It can be a significant cost and efficiency advantage to effectively redistribute aircrafts and supporting staff resources by using timely resource data. When certain portions of the existing service require rearrangement, accurate resource data can drive better service planning, maintenance, and executions, resulting in a more appropriate allocation of your business resources.

Workflow Maintenance and Integration – A proprietary management system faces inevitable flexibility and scalability limitations. Task-centric applications are expensive to maintain and highly labor intensive to support when required to interact with external systems. A serious result is that engineering support staff, technician and IT team must focus on the administrative burdens of adapting internal resources, systems integration tasks, and data manipulation, rather than on being able to concentrate on revenue generating operations.

Regulatory and Legislative Requirements – Operational risk, can be defined as the risk of loss from inadequate or failed to support the latest guidance from the customer-care process, maintenance, and reconfiguration of aircrafts – is arguably the most formidable aspect of the emerging FAA Acts to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the airline industry faces a critical legislative and regulatory test in 2020 and 2021: will the operators prevail with their current ability to retain manageable scope and cost efficiency – or will they need to establish a new business model with new business tools to navigate through this storm?

Advancing Technology – Technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, requiring companies to maintain constant vigilance and continuous impact analysis with a close eye on the competition.

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