Managing and maintaining an airline’s fleet of aircraft, engines, components and maintenance equipment is no easy feat. However, it’s vital to optimise processes in order to reduce downtime and increase profitability.
To tackle the challenge, many operators are turning to innovative solutions such as modern, cloud based airline MRO software. In fact, the global aviation MRO software market was valued at USD 6.95 billion in 2022 and is forecast to reach USD 9.76 billion by 2029, a CAGR of 4.93%.
In this article, we explore how the software maximises asset management, from inventory management to maintenance scheduling to warranty management and beyond.
The Importance of Optimising Asset Management
Improving asset management processes allows for the most reliable maintenance and better safety outcomes. Sub-optimal maintenance can lead to safety-critical issues, while optimised asset management practices help identify and address potential risks proactively, reducing the likelihood of accidents caused by equipment failures.
Proper asset management also assists with maintaining equipment health in the long term. Regular inspections, preventive and predictive maintenance, and timely repairs ensure that aircraft and components are in optimal condition, extending the operational life of equipment.
One of the primary advantages of MRO software is its ability to streamline maintenance planning and scheduling, as traditional manual processes can be time-consuming and prone to errors.
MRO software automates the scheduling of maintenance tasks based on predefined criteria, such as flight hours, cycles, and regulatory requirements. This not only ensures that maintenance is performed at the right time but also optimises aircraft utilisation.
Efficient resource utilisation is paramount for airlines. MRO Software helps optimise manpower, equipment, and facilities, aligning maintenance schedules with available resources in the most efficient ways. This optimisation translates to reduced operational costs and improved overall productivity.
There are many other areas in which improving efficiency reduces operational costs. For example, McKinsey & Co report that analytics can reduce inventory stock by up to 40% and holding costs by 10%.
How MRO Software Benefits Large Airlines
The potential cost savings that MRO software brings to large organisations is substantial. Scaling up a process improvement applied to the management of technicians, for example, will significantly improve one’s bottom line when the number of people being managed are in the hundreds or thousands. As well as resource allocation, this applies to materials management and any other process.
Small organisations may be able to cope with siloed operations and data, albeit with difficulty. With a larger airline, far too many efficiencies arise that eat into profits when things are managed this way. A fully integrated ecosystem of processes is necessary in order to overcome the bottlenecks involved. This means a centralised repository for data and a system of interconnected modules, providing a single source of truth.
How Does MRO Software Improve Asset Management?
Airline MRO software simplifies work order management, task assignments, and documentation. It centralises critical information, ensuring that maintenance teams can access the data they need promptly, leading to faster turnarounds.
The software can also integrate with Internet of Things (IoT) enabled sensors installed on aircraft. This allows for the real-time monitoring of aircraft health, fuel consumption, and performance parameters; not only is this beneficial for general proactivity, it enables the use of more advanced technologies such as digital twins.
In addition, MRO software fosters better collaboration among maintenance teams, engineering departments, and flight operations, ensuring that critical information is shared promptly.
Below, we outline a few key areas in which software takes asset management to a new level of efficiency.
Airline MRO Software offers comprehensive fleet management and planning tools, providing the ultimate oversight of MRO operations. Some specific functionality is outlined below, including features of OASES.
Maintaining Continuing Airworthiness
MRO software is the key to staying on top of compliance. OASES’ Continuing Airworthiness module gives you all the tools you need to manage continuing airworthiness processes so that you always meet regulatory obligations.
It maintains reliability statistics at a fleet level and generates graphical reports automatically, providing insights into utilisation, open defects, component removals and many other critical data points. It also keeps a model of every aircraft and detailed information on the elapsed life data for all components.
All in all, it maintains a single source of truth across airworthiness directives, service bulletins, engineering orders, safety integrity levels, and aircraft operations tests.
The OASES Planning module uses automation to relieve staff of many time-consuming tasks. It handles work orders and automatically generates work package documentation and material pre-loads. Actions that are required due to airworthiness directives and service bulletins are automatically included in word orders, and any required documentation is attached.
The module has the most granular reporting functionality so that maintenance managers can track the finer details of every task.
In addition, the Line Maintenance module handles all short-term maintenance planning and provides personnel with dashboards containing the status of any aircraft, fleet or base, as well as an aircraft’s location, hours, cycles, and so on.
Planning and materials modules are integrated for the smoothest operations, ensuring the required materials for any work order are available well in advance.
Enhanced Inventory and Materials Management
As mentioned, poor inventory management is another contributing factor to excessive MRO costs.
For larger operations, parts and other materials may be distributed across many sites, meaning that personnel waste a great deal of time locating what is required. Of course, this means repairs are delayed and aircraft are grounded for longer.
Given the vast array of parts and equipment that airlines and MROs have to manage, a comprehensive inventory management system is needed – and one that automates as much of the admin as possible.
Our Materials Management module does exactly that, ensuring the cost effective availability materials. All stock levels and movements are tracked, and the histories of all component locations are recorded. The system can also trigger re-ordering or stock transfer alert reports.
Items can be pre-allocated for planned maintenance but if a higher priority event occurs, they can be released; new stock will then be ordered automatically.
Warranty management is a burdensome process. Thankfully, our Warranty Management module automates the identification and claim process on unserviceable items. Within the system, precise warranty agreements are defined and the associated rules are used to determine whether a claim can be made. The system automatically raises warranty orders based as a result.
Efficient asset management is the pinnacle of successful airline MRO operations. It’s impossible to cover all the ways that airline MRO software optimises maintenance management in one article, but we have given an overview of some key aspects.
Airlines, MROs and CAMOs across the world use OASES to improve their MRO operations and reduce costs. To discover more or book a demo, contact us today.