The 15th annual MRO Europe Conference and Exhibition was held this year in Amsterdam from the 9th to 11th October. Billed as “the premier event for information gathering and knowledge sharing for those involved in the MRO sector in the region”, the conference included an important panel session on E-Solutions for Aircraft MRO which featured Nick Godwin, Commsoft’s MD, together with representatives from GE Aviation Systems and Conduce Software.
Mr Godwin’s presentation focused on the significant benefits being delivered by the latest developments in Best of Breed (BOB) MRO IT systems such as Commsoft’s own OASES. He made the point that IT development in aviation has generally lagged behind other industries because of the critical need to meet the standards laid down by the airworthiness authorities; IT development in the aviation industry has to be a process of controlled evolution rather than overnight revolution. One of the great advantages of BOB systems like OASES lies in the efficiency and reliability of the way in which they can facilitate compliance with stringent aviation regulations though their transaction logs and audit trails.
Of course, BOB systems go far beyond ensuring compliance, as Mr Godwin went on to explain. Those systems which are designed around core engineering capabilities whilst providing an interface with other data gathering systems – Operations, Finance and HR, for example – offer an enhanced level of control over the aviation maintenance environment at a much lower cost than traditional ERP systems. Indeed, in larger organisations, ERP systems can easily lead to standardised CEO/CFO-led process and finance controls that operate to the detriment of engineering flexibility.
Already providing a full integration of multiple-source data, OASES and other BOB systems support better decision-making through their predictive capabilities. Future developments in the MRO IT field, Mr Godwin suggested, are likely to be concentrated on continuing to maximise the economic benefits that can be derived from the volume of available data, and on enabling users to customise the presentation of information in a way that meets their own needs. In concluding, Mr Godwin looked forward to the increasing use of BOB systems by senior managers, not just traditional users, as an invaluable business management tool.