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Aircraft IT MRO eJournal "Smart Aircraft Need Smart IT" How I See IT

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  • 1. White Paper: Ramco Systems Case Study: Qantas, Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa Technik Vendor Job Card: VolartecColumn: ‘How I see IT’, why plug intelligent aircraft into dumb IT? plus… News, Webinars, MRO Software DirectorysV2.2 • APRIL-MAY 2013NOT JUST AN IT UPGRADEBut a wholesale transformation of the MRO systemNEW AIRCRAFT;NEW SYSTEMSMaking a system fit for next generation aircraftKEEPINGTRACK OF PARTSGetting the right ones whereand when they’re neededBUILDING A NEW IT MODULEAnd fitting it into an established system
  • 2. Editor’s commentAircraft IT MRO: Life can get complicated but nothing that agood team, process and system can’t handleThere’s little point in me telling you that it’s Spring here in Europe because formany of our readers that information won’t relate to what they can see throughtheir window. In the Southern hemisphere it’s Autumn, in some areas it’s rainingwhile other places enjoy (are subject to?) all day sunshine. The point is thatthere is a lot of variation across the world which doesn’t affect most people andbusinesses because they stay in one place but airlines, aircraft operators andaircraft have to be ready for everything… and that’s not only true of the climate.The commercial and regulatory worlds in which they operate also require themto not only cope with different climates but also to make sure that every aircraftconforms to the regulatory environment wherever it lands. Add to that theroutine timed checks, scheduled maintenance, directives, updates and plain oldfashioned parts failures and the task of keeping aircraft flying begins to look quite the complex challengethat it is. Where would we be without IT?In this issue, you’ll find high quality writing on different aspects of IT. How about not just changing your ITbut lifting it right up to date and pointing it to the future; that was an implementation challenge! Or makingsure that, when you add next generation aircraft to the fleet you install next generation systems to supportthem. Then we have an article on how to get a grip (almost literally) on the tens of thousands of parts inthe spares inventory as well as how one team went about the process of designing a whole new module foran established MRO software suite. You’ll learn what makes a key software vendor tick. Plus, of course, HowMichael Denis sees IT. And, as always, lots more news and information from your sector.Knowledge, they say, is hard to come by but at Aircraft IT MRO we reject that notion in favour of ourpreferred nostrum that knowledge should be put before the people who can make best use of it. Read thisissue and you’ll see what we mean.As well as all that, the Aircraft IT live demonstration webinars allow readers to research the softwarepackage most appropriate for their needs and access past webinars while, of course, future webinars areopen for every reader who registers.Aircraft IT MRO: putting knowledge in the hands of people who can use it best.Ed HaskeyCLICK HERE: Send your feedback andsuggestions to AircraftIT MROCLICK HERE: Subscribe for freeAircraftIT MRO is published bi-monthly and is an affiliate of Aircraft Commerceand part of the AviationNextGen Ltd group. The entire contents within thispublication © Copyright 2013 AviationNextGen Ltd an independent publicationand not affiliated with any of the IT vendors or suppliers. Content may not bereproduced without the strict written agreement of the publisher.The views and opinions expressed in this publication are the views of theauthors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of their companiesor of the publisher. The publisher does not guarantee the source, originality,accuracy, completeness or reliability of any statement, information, data, finding,interpretation, advice, opinion, or view presented.AircraftIT MRO Publisher/Editor: Ed Haskey E-mail: ed.haskey@aircraftit.com Telephone: +44 1403 230 700 or +44 1273 700 555 Website: www.aircraftIT.com Copy Editor/Contributor: John Hancock E-mail: john@aircraftit.com Magazine Production: Dean Cook E-mail: deancook@magazineproduction.com04 NewsNothing stands still and especially not aircraft, their condition and the regulations that govern theiroperations. Now, professionals can learn about the latest developments by checking regularly onhttp://www.aircraftit.com/MRO/Index.aspx and here in the Aircraft IT MRO e-journal.16 CASE STUDY: Point of Maintenance AcquittalMichael Killeen, Project Marlin Project Manager, Qantas EngineeringWith Project Marlin, Qantas Engineering embarked on a transformational journey; simplifying process and IT but alsoproviding real-time maintenance certification.20 WHITE PAPER: Taming the chaosSaravanan Rajarajan, Consultant – Aviation Practice, Ramco SystemsManaging the spares inventory can get complex and always is expensive but applying intelligent methods to the taskcan help to avoid chaos and contain costs.25 COLUMN: How I see ITWhy pay billions for smart aircraft only to plug them into dumb IT?Would you have your $100,000 Porsche serviced at the corner cycle store? So why plug your $120m B787into an IT system that can’t handle half of the data that the airliner generates? As usual, Michael Denisasks the hard questions.26 CASE STUDY: MRO IT as a key enabler of your visionMesfin Tasew, Chief Operating Officer, Ethiopian AirlinesWhen Ethiopian Airlines determined to introduce new MRO software it was in the context of a whole long termstrategy of fleet renewal and process improvement.30 Past webinars: knowledge transfer and access for industry expertsView Video Recordings of our Past Live MRO Software Demonstration Webinars. See full information and view videorecordings of recent Live MRO Software Demos, including: 2MoRO, AeroSoft, ADS and Swiss-AS.32 WHITE PAPER: Insight into the creation of the new manage/m® WebSuite 2.0Dr. Falk Kalus, director, and Timo Herster, project manager, manage/m®What were the challenges of designing a new manage/m® WebSuite using methods of agile project managementand the Scrum Framework and how did it work37 VENDOR JOB CARDWhat keeps Volartec moving forward? John Barry shares some secrets of their success with Aircraft ITIn this issue’s Q&A piece, John Barry,VP Business Development atVolartec, completes his‘Vendor Job Card’for Aircraft IT.38 Upcoming live MRO software demonstration webinarsA preview of live MRO software demonstration webinar with IDMR Solutions presenting‘InForm’documentmanagement solution on 18th April 2013.43 MRO Software directoryA detailed look at the world’s leading MRO IT systems.
  • 3. 10 | NEWS | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | APRIL-MAY 2013InfoTrust Group adds Mobile Solutions for Line Maintenance and FlightOperations to TechSight/X® suite of products. Tablet Solutions deliverthe right information at the point of performance to improve aircraftutilization, facilitate compliance, and cut operational costsInfoTrust Group announced, in mid-March 2013, the availability of its TechSight/X Mobile IETPfor Line Maintenance and its native TechSight/X iPad® Application for Flight Operations. Both tabletsolutions further demonstrate InfoTrust Group’s mission to help airlines deliver the right information, atthe right time, to the right people. By giving line mechanics and flight crews access to the most currentmaintenance and flight information on mobile devices at the point of performance, airlines can improveaircraft utilization, help ensure real-time regulatory compliance, and reduce operational costs.InfoTrust Group’s tablet solutions are designed specifically for use by aircraft mechanics and pilots. TheTechSight/X Mobile IETP (Interactive Electronic Technical Publication) for Line Maintenance gives mechanicsaccess to all of their Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, and Embraer maintenance and engineering manuals onboth iOS® and Android™ devices. Search and navigation are optimized for touch screens to minimize clicksand eliminate the need for complex searches. Mechanics can navigate complex wiring diagrams, view andorder from illustrated parts catalogs (when integrated to MRO or ERP solutions), and access fault reportingand trouble-shooting manuals while at their aircraft; so they can perform maintenance faster and returnaircraft to service more quickly than ever before.The TechSight/X iPad Application for Flight Operations automatically delivers up-to-the-minuteflight manuals and related company documentation to thousands of pilots dispersed across variousgeographies. Pilots can acknowledge updates, and the application automatically tracks and audits thatacknowledgement to facilitate regulatory compliance. To make finding the right information easier,pilots can add notes, highlights, and bookmarks that are stored as part of their user profiles and that arepersistent from one revision to the next, even across multiple tablet devices. Effectivity filtering also helpspilots find specific information related to the fleets and models of the aircraft they fly faster than whenusing paper-based manuals.“Tablets represent a new paradigm for technical information delivery,” said Olivier Joufflineau, vicepresident of InfoTrust Group’s ATA Flight Operations Solutions and Services, “and InfoTrust Group is proud tobe at the vanguard of the airline industry’s adoption of tablet-enabled technical information solutions.”Both TechSight/X modules are available to existing customers as upgrades to their current TechSight/Xsolutions. The TechSight/X iPad Application for Flight Operations also can be purchased as a stand-alonesolution.InfoTrust Group’s ISO 9001:2008 Certification Expanded to Airline Change ServicesMoving into April 2013, InfoTrust Group announced that its Airline Change Services (ACS) group, incharge of providing outsourced technical publishing services to help airlines reconcile customized airlinedata into revised OEM data, has been awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification. Certification of the ACS groupis an expansion of InfoTrust Group’s ISO 9001:2008 certification already held by the company’s technicalpublishing services group and its training and documentation services group. It reflects the company’scommitment to continuously enhance customer satisfaction as well as its expertise in helping airlinesensure compliance with regulatory requirements mandated by the aviation industry.ISO 9001:2008 certification is the most widely recognized quality requirement standard for organizationsseeking to provide products and services that meet customer expectations and fulfill regulatoryrequirements. Working with ISO 9001:2008-certified companies can alleviate the pressure of conductingsupplier audits and facilitates supplier management due to the ISO-certified supplier’s commitment tocontinual improvement and enhancing customer satisfaction.“Airline Change Services fulfills critical information management functions for some of the world’s leadingairlines that rely on the accuracy and timeliness of technical information,” said InfoTrust Group Presidentand CEO Geoffrey Godet. “ISO 9001:2008 certification across not just ACS but all of our outsourced technicalinformation services reflects the outstanding quality of information our customers expect and the standardto which our team performs.”InfoTrustGroupcontinuestodevelopitssolutionsforthelatestneedsClick here for full SOFTWARE details and for a demoCMJCMMJCJCMJN2moroAnnoncePresse1112.pdf 11/01/12 16:12:56
  • 4. Point of Maintenance AcquittalWhen Qantas set out to reform its process management framework and update its IT landscape, writes Michael Killeen,Project Marlin Project Director at Qantas Engineering, it achieved a transformational force multiplier.16 | CASE STUDY: QANTAS AIRWAYS | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | APRIL-MAY 2013
  • 5. Qantas’ Airways is Australia’s largest domestic andinternational operator. Its network spans 46 countries acrossAustralia, Asia and the Pacific, the Americas, Europe and Africa withoperations that include over 6400 flights per week domestically and over920 flights per week internationally to over 40 destinations using a fleet ofmore than 150 aircraft. Furthermore, the Qantas brand reputation has beenconfirmed by a range of awards …• Six awards including Best First Class Cellar and Best Business ClassCellar at 2011 in Sky Cellars Awards.• Good Design Award by the Chicago Athenaeum for the A380 First suiteand…• Australian International Design Award of the Year for the A380Economy seat.From an engineering perspective Qantas Engineering completes about 1.6million tasks per annum, employs over 4000 people and is making thetransition to Civil Aviation Rules 1988 (similar to EASA regulations) thisyear:• Old CAR 30 (combined asset owner and maintainer) to be replaced byEASA style regulatory structure comprising CAR 42 and CAR 145• Mechanical and avionics trades replaced by EASA style B1s and B2s (Csand A licenses to come)From heritage to HTMLHowever, like many legacy operators, Qantas was confronted with theconsequences of its heritage. The procedures manual, which had beendeveloped over 90 years, comprised over 800 chapters and its MaintenanceInformation System was written in 3 & 4GL COBOL over 20 years ago.The broader engineering IT landscape comprised over 300 applications.Moreover the system achieved poor integration with the company’senterprise architecture of Oracle 11i application suite.A transformation was required but it would need to be so comprehensiveand ubiquitous that it was determined it would be best achieved as a majorproject in its own right. As part of the enterprise transformation, Qantasembarked on a journey to reform its process management framework andupdate its IT landscape under the guise of ‘Project Marlin’. The processtransformation included a complete re-write of the procedures manualthat not only formalised the procedural framework using a standardisedtaxonomy but also reduced the number of chapters in the proceduresmanual to 340. Whereas in the past the procedures had been disseminatedvia pages of wordy descriptions, the new procedures manual comprisedflow charts and information mapped documents. The IT environmentwas completely revamped. At the core of the IT environment changeswas the implementation of a new MRO IT solution, Maintenix; the oldgreen screen environment was replaced with a completely new HTMLenvironment in Maintenix.APRIL-MAY 2013 | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | CASE STUDY: QANTAS AIRWAYS | 17Fromausersperspective,theITenvironmentwentfromtheleft……tothedisplaybelowFigure 2“Theproceduresmanual,whichhadbeendevelopedover90years,comprisedover800chaptersanditsMaintenanceInformationSystemwaswrittenin3&4GLCOBOLover20yearsago.”
  • 6. 18 | CASE STUDY: QANTAS AIRWAYS | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | APRIL-MAY 2013Point of maintenance acquittalThe vision for these reforms was ‘point of maintenanceacquittal’. Under point of maintenance acquittal, theaircraft must be declared serviceable in Maintenixbefore it can depart — the transactions to update workperformed and configuration are acquitted in real timeprior to aircraft departure by the aircraft engineer thatperformed the work.Whilst Qantas chose not to roll out tablets as partof Project Marlin, one should not under-estimatethe effort required and the impact on its people oftransferring 150 aircraft in 12 months from the legacyto the new system. In getting ready for the move toMaintenix and ‘point of maintenance acquittal’ Qantas:• Deployed over 200 PCs and laptops, wirelessnetworks and 4G access points to support the PCs;and…• … expended over 4000 training days on both itsown people as well as over 500 contract staff whohandle Qantas Aircraft;• Created over 6 million tasks in Maintenix, many ofwhich were migrated from the COBOL environment.As a result of Project Marlin and the changes that itbrought about in the overall operation, 14 IT applicationswere decommissioned as their functions were absorbedinto the MIS at the heart of the IT architecture.Key to success ‘Catch phrase’ In practice thismeans…Scope Scope is controlled.Scope is the enemyof schedule and cost• Small discrete projectsare better.• Don’t build the windowsversion of the DOSsystem (Conways law).• ‘Tell me why wecant use standardfunctionality in a systemwe have’.Work & Schedule Work & schedule arepredictable• Apply and stick toproven project lifecyclemethods.• Set the schedule andstick to it.• Resource level.Team Team is highperforming• Networking mediocritydoesn’t create. excellence;keep project team small(Brooks’Law).• Project team needs tostay flexible.Risks and Issues Risks and issues aremanaged• Robust process & tools• Be disciplined; regularreviews of open risksand issues.• Use daily scrums toshorten decision cycles.Business benefitsand costsBusiness benefits arerealised• Push cost managementdown to stream leadswho are creatingchange requests.• ‘Speed to market’reduces the risk that thebusiness moves on.Stakeholders Stakeholders areengaged• Use working groups tokeep the project teamsmall.• Keep it practical.• Ensure there is executivesponsorship.IntegrationmanagementOne project, oneteam workingtogether• Manage solutioninterdependency risk;there needs to bea business solutionarchitect.• Have a robust PMO andmanage the schedule.SupplierRelationshipManagementSuppliers aremanaged for mutualbenefit• Use the rightcontractual frameworkto obtain accountabilityand match your skills;only prime if you can!• Manage the vendors.Figure 3
  • 7. “…the transformation of its processes and IT environment serves as a platformfor the enterprise to re-invent itself from a legacy airline to an agile customerfocused organisation. No one should under-estimate the effort that these sorts oftransformation activities take…”APRIL-MAY 2013 | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | CASE STUDY: QANTAS AIRWAYS | 19Managing the projectProject Marlin was a major undertaking forQantas. The project ran for over three years and,at its peak, had over 250 people on board. Witha project of this size and complexity governancewas a significant contributor to success. Projectgovernance, which included Board Reporting, wasbased on ‘8 keys to success’.Project Marlin was not always plain sailing butsome of the lessons we learned might be useful forthose who could be newly embarking on a similarexercise.• The fundamentals still apply… • Apply the basics of systems engineering to thetechnical solution:• Understand the requirements;• Stick to standard functionality;• Be flexible on the solution — a 90%solution 100% implemented is better than a100% solution never implemented. • Projects still need to be governed against the8 keys:• Scope is the enemy of schedule and cost —keep it tight;• Get stakeholders engaged at all levels witha practical approach;• Keep the issues and risks managementfeedback loop short and effective; make adecision;• Each person on the project needs to beindividually necessary and collectivelysufficient; smaller is better.• Being a project manager is more than justapplying the process — there has to be a visionfor the future, technical leadership and peopleleadership.Whilst Qantas encountered some challenges,the transformation of its processes and ITenvironment serves as a platform for the enterpriseto re-invent itself from a legacy airline to an agilecustomer focused organisation. No one shouldunder-estimate the effort that these sorts oftransformation activities take but, if airlines areto continue to deliver increased levels of safetyand efficiency, point of maintenance acquittaland the process and IT transformation thatQantas has implemented, will surely be a stepalong the way. nMichael KilleenProject Marlin Project DIRECTOR,Qantas EngineeringMichael is a qualified professionalmechanical and electricalengineer with a range ofexperience in operational andconsulting roles. After commencing his careerin manufacturing, rising to the position ofEngineering & Maintenance Manager, Michaelworked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBMGBS as a consultant. In this role Michael not onlylead a range of projects in industries rangingfrom mining to public service but was alsothe practice leader for Asset Management inAustralia and New Zealand. Since joining Qantas,Michael has focussed on transformation andasset management across a range of roles withinQantas Engineering including General ManagerSupply Chain, A380 Fleet Manager and ProjectDirector on Project Marlin.ABOUT QANTASQantas Engineering and Maintenance experiencedates back to when the airline first commencedoperations in 1920. Since then, Engineering andMaintenance has gained nearly as many years ofexperience in contract work. The Engineering andMaintenance branch employs some 6,000 personnel(from a total airline staff of about 30,000).INTERACTIVEASK THE AUTHOR A QUESTIONCLICK HERE to leave YOUR QUESTIONINTERACTIVEJOIN THE DEBATECLICK HERE to leave your feedback about thisarticle and start or join a discussionClick here for full SOFTWARE details and for a demoIDMR’s Technical Documentation ManagementSystem, InForm, has been designed to playa central role in the long-term survival andproliferation of technical documentation.InForm, written from the ground up as anairline document management system, willallow you to author and maintain virtuallyany document. Technical DocumentationManagement is now on aviation executivesagenda’s worldwide.Technical documents are the primarysource of aircraft, engine, and componentreference InFormation which are constantlychanging. On-going revision’s and updates bymanufacturers, vendors and airline personneladd more complexity in controlling thesedocuments. Failing to follow manufactures,vendors, and regulatory agencies approvedmaintenance repair and overhaul procedurescan result in poor quality control or worse non-compliance fines.Without a centralized approach to TechnicalDocumentation Management, these importantdocuments are usually stored in multipleplaces, version control is lacking and in manycases different automated tools are usedto create and maintain record keeping,perpetuating a process that is extremely timeconsuming and in most cases inaccurate.InForm offers a Technical DocumentManagement Solution that provides a singlerepository for storing electronic documentsreceived from outside sources such asmanufactures, vendors, and internal personal.IDMR offers airlines, manufactures and third-party maintenance providers the industry’smost technically advanced, web centric, fullycustomizable, easy-to-use, all encompassing,mission critical and affordable suite of TechnicalDocumentation Management solutions.www.idmr-solutions.comsales@idmr-solutions.comTel: +1 888 675 4527DOCUMENTS…MANAGED.
  • 8. INTERACTIVE: Get Involved!Why not get involved with the debate? Sendyour comments or questions to Michael by clicking here.How I see ITWhy pay billions for smart aircraftonly to plug them into dumb IT?Michael DenisLast year I was working in Europe with an airline scheduled to get the Boeing 787. Taking on any new aircraftis a planning and scheduling challenge, and airlines often rely heavily on the OEM for assistance. Besidespilot, engineering and mechanic training, new type certifications, new tooling, new technology, in this case, noone had noticed that there wasn’t a hangar for the bird to fit in – something that would take more than thenine month lead time this airline was left with.Next Generation (NextGen) aircraft like the B787, the A380 before it and the soon to follow A350 require asignificant investment in information technologies and processes from what airlines have done in the past.Consider: the B787 creates just under 100GB of data per hour of flight; that is 1.5TB (Terabytes) on theaverage transatlantic flight. The GEnx engine tracks 1001 parameters, 230% more than the GE90 and the B787tracks 20,300 parameters, a 60% increase over the B777.The value proposition for owning these aircraft is operating and support efficiencies. Fuel efficient engines,lower weight, lower ‘cost to maintain’ composite bodies, flexible maintenance scheduling. To achievethese significant efficiencies, NextGen aircraft perform complex diagnostics, prognostics, aircraft healthmanagement, integrated XML content, dynamic maintenance packaging and autonomic logistics. But to reap thebenefits of your billion-dollar purchase requires equally advanced off-board information technologies.What? They didn’t tell you that your 1960’s Sceptre, 1990’s Maxi Merlin or most of the ‘best of breed’ MRO ITsystems on the market today can’t integrate or properly manage the data and content that your shiny newaircraft is using and generating?If you are an airline getting one of these NextGen aircraft, you have options. Do nothing. It worked in the past and you might be able to get away with it in the future. Just don’t go askthe OEM why you aren’t getting the promised performance out of the aircraft – sort of like voiding yourwarranty by plugging a 220V 60Hz motor into a 100V 50Hz grid.Outsource everything to the OEMs. Don’t fret, the OEMs knew your airline wasn’t prepared for the data tsunami,so they have performance based contracts called Goldcare and Totalcare and Power by the Hour. Trust them,just because they sold you the airplane, parts, engineering services and MRO support, doesn’t mean they won’tdo their best to minimize your total cost per operating hour.OK, so if option one and two don’t sound so hot, how about we do our homework and prepare before theaircraft arrives. There are a number of aviation consultancies who can quickly identify the functional andtechnical gaps in an airline’s flight, engineering and maintenance operations capabilities.NextGen MRO IT for NextGen aircraft and engines offers a great opportunity for airlines and Part 145s tomodernize and significantly improve labor productivity and material turns across the organization. And thetraditional hurdle put in our way by finance to question the investment has already been answered.“NextGen aircraft perform complexdiagnostics, prognostics, aircraft healthmanagement, integrated XML content,dynamic maintenance packaging andautonomic logistics. But to reap thebenefits of your billion-dollar purchaserequires equally advanced off-boardinformation technologies.”
  • 9. 26 | CASE STUDY: ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | APRIL-MAY 2013Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest growing airline in Africa, hasdeveloped an international reputation for innovation, technologyleadership and its commitment to becoming a world leading aviation groupaccording to its Vision 2025 strategic roadmap. To support the Maintenance,Repair and Overhaul (MRO) function as one of the business’s profit centers,Ethiopian is upgrading its MRO operations with state-of-the-art facilitiesand capabilities.In this case study, Ethiopian details how its commitment to standardprocesses, coupled with the use of MRO IT across the full maintenancefootprint including engineering, planning, execution and materials, willenable a ‘best-in-class’ maintenance unit suitable for both its mixed fleetand rapidly expanding MRO operations.Strategic planning through visionary thinkingOrganizational vision underpins the long-term business strategy of manyaviation organizations. Ultimately, commitment is what differentiates thoseairlines that turn their vision into a reality from those that barely progressbeyond the formulation of the idea. By ‘commitment’, we at EthiopianAirlines do not only mean in the sense of ambition or dedication – thereis no shortage of either in aviation – rather, we demonstrate commitmentin the sense of actually understanding and accepting what that conceptrequires of the entire organization. And, more often than not, what thatcommitment requires is change.Airlines embrace change in many ways. The economy is no morepredictable than the weather, but both impact on operations and existbeyond human influence. However, aviation organizations adapt quicklyand repeatedly. This constant force of change on the business can explainwhy many commercial operators often stagnate when it comes to the areasof their business that can be controlled. However, by avoiding changein these areas, airlines may miss out on the significant opportunities ofevolving and proactively driving change through.In this spirit of embracing change, in 2010, Ethiopian Airlines outlinedVision 2025, a fifteen year strategic plan that would support theorganization’s evolution into Africa’s most competitive and leadingaviation group.Defining objectives for MRO IT replacementWith Vision 2025 in place, the project team tasked with developing theMRO IT replacement plan was asked to translate this future vision intotangible, present-day objectives. The team identified three key goals:1. Support Fleet Modernization. Fleet modernization andgrowth are at the core of Vision 2025, and, as a result, the teamidentified the aging Maxi-Merlin MRO IT installation as a barrierto short and long-term success. The dated legacy solution would beinefficient in supporting short-term plans for the receipt of the Boeing777 and the Bombardier Q400. More than that, it would be absolutelyincapable of supporting the receipt and ongoing operation of the plannedBoeing 787 and Airbus A350 fleets.MROITasakeyenablerofyourvisionIt’s not enough to simply want change, says Mesfin Tasew, Chief Operating Officer at Ethiopian Airlines,organizations must commit to enacting change.2. Support the Modernization of MROPractices. The company’s growth plans relyheavily on implementing efficient best practicesthroughout MRO operations. Evaluating businessprocesses and implementing best practices acrossthe maintenance function also demanded a moremodern MRO IT solution that reinforced andsupported IT driven business transformation.3. Drive Efficiencies across the MROOrganization. In a highly competitivemarketplace marked by rising fuel prices, Ethiopianrecognized that success would be hinged solely onfactors that could be controlled; namely, drivinggreater operational efficiencies. By implementing anMRO IT solution that offered an integrated viewof operations from flight scheduling through tomaintenance execution and materials management,the company could drastically improve productivityduring all maintenance visits, both scheduled andunscheduled.The search for an MRO IT solution extended beyondthe simple selection of a system to collect and storetransactional maintenance data; of utmost importancewas choosing a system that was transformational – onethat could help optimize asset lifecycle managementand drive continuous improvements across the business.In evaluating a number of vendors, it became apparentthat Mxi Technologies’ Maintenix software was thebest solution capable of supporting the increasingsophistication of the Ethiopian fleet, expectations forbest practices and efficiency, and rigorous demands forcompliance control.Key Success FactorsWith MRO IT objectives in place, the team thendirected its focus to articulating what key factors wouldplay a prominent role in the ultimate success of thenew software:1. Standardized processes. Maintenix’scommercial off-the-shelf (COTS) system, appliedagainst Mxi’s Standard Aviation Solution (SAS)business processes and use cases, set the stage forEthiopian to deliver an MRO function that couldcapitalize on standardized industry best-practices.The project team evaluated Mxi’s SAS processesand use cases against existing processes, identifiedthe details, and made the necessary adjustments toconform to the SAS. In the event that variations ofprocesses were required as part of routine operations,these were easily addressed through minorconfiguration changes to the software.2. Good Data. Ethiopian’s detailed data migrationstrategy balanced the demands of the implementationtimeline against the availability of human capital andthe substantial amount of information that needed to
  • 10. APRIL-MAY 2013 | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | CASE STUDY: ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES | 27be cleansed, transformed and imported to ensure thesuccessful ongoing operation of the new solution. Tomitigate the amount of data being migrated at anyone time and support a strong organizational changemanagement approach, the team chose a phasedimplementation and organized system ‘go live’ byfleet and functionality. The variety of data sourcesincluded:• Manufacturer source documents (IPC) to derivethe majority of the equipment baseline;• Data extracted from Maxi-Merlin for job cards,part serial numbers, and ‘last done’ dates formaintenance tasks;• Spreadsheets that were used to track other dataelements that existed outside of Maxi-Merlin.3. Organizational Buy-in. Beyond executivesponsorship, the project team recognized that thesuccess of the Maintenix implementation wouldhinge on securing the unwavering support ofmiddle management and, ultimately, the end usercommunity. Demystifying the new system goes along way here. Ethiopian’s Maintenix training strategywas structured around the skill levels of the usercommunity and the difference in the user interfacebetween Maintenix and the legacy Maxi-Merlinsystem. Because Maintenix is a real time system,versus the previously used post-work capture system,the team identified that users may need to be closerto workstations and that expectations of when systemwork needed to be completed relative to shift starttimes and end times also had to be reset.To protect the company’s investment in the Maintenixsoftware and drive maximum value from the system,the MRO organization was tasked as the businessowner of the new system, with the IT organization ina key supporting role. In addition, Ethiopian institutedongoing monitoring for indicators of non-adherenceto process, identifying training improvements, andto drive end user community engagement. Theorganization also identified key performance indicatorswhich would be assessed over time to measure returnsand demonstrate value.Organizing the Project TeamIdentifying the appropriate project team wasacknowledged as an important next step in guaranteeingan implementation that would be delivered on timeand on budget. Consequently, leaders from across theorganization from C-level executives to end users wereengaged as part of the project team and shared in theresponsibility of delivering on the project’s success. Thisshared responsibility also encouraged full ownership ofthe project across the whole of the organization wherethe result was not solely an MRO project or an ITproject, but an ‘Ethiopian Airlines project.’Working closely with Mxi Technologies, includingexecutive sponsors together with Mxi Services and ITleads, the Maintenix implementation project team wascomprised of the following representation:Executive representation• Lead sponsor – Chief Operating Officer, formerly theVice President of MRO;Click here for full SOFTWARE details and for a demoDon’t just react to changes in the aviation industry.Evolve with them.Join the Evolution. mxi.comThe world of aviation maintenance is evolving. Maintenanceorganizations looking to maintain their competitive edge andsafeguard their future need adaptable maintenance software. With itsunparalleled commitment to quality and innovation, Mxi Technologiesdelivers industry-leading software that lets you keep pace.EVOLVE“Using the Maintenix solution, Ethiopian Airlines is confidently managing themaintenance requirements of ‘classic’, ‘next-generation’ and ‘advanced’ fleets whileenjoying the organizational transparency and real time visibility afforded by a modernand holistic maintenance management solution.”
  • 11. 28 | CASE STUDY: ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES | AIRCRAFT IT MRO | APRIL-MAY 2013MesfinTasewChief Operating Officer, EthiopianAirlinesMr. Mesfin joined Ethiopian in1984 as Associate Engineer andprogressed through the business,serving in supervisorial andmanagerial positions in the technical areas. In1997 and 1999 he was appointed as DirectorOperations & Technical Systems Support andChief Information Officers respectively. In 2006,he was assigned as Vice President Maintenanceand Engineering. He has been the Chief OperatingOfficer of Ethiopian since 1st November 2010.• Co-sponsor – Senior VP of Ethiopian MRODivision;• Co-sponsor – Chief Information Officer.MRO organization representation• Internal Project Manager;• SMEs representing major business areas –Engineering, Planning, Line Maintenance, HangarMaintenance, Shops, Quality Assurance, Materials– for business process analysis, testing, baselinedevelopment, data migration, policy and proceduredevelopment, and end user training.IT organization representation• Legacy system technical expertise;• Data migration support;• Integrations and reports development;• IT operations;• Administrative management.This collective accountability and cross functionalexpertise was supremely valuable in ensuring thesuccess of the Maintenix implementation.ConclusionIn 2011,Ethiopian wentlive with theMaintenixsoftware andhas succeeded inusing the system forits next generation777-200LR and Q400fleets. The systemis fully operationalwith engineering,planning, execution,materials, and technical records. In the first half of2012, Ethiopian completed the implementation ofMaintenix across the entire fleet, shops and customerMRO operations. On August 14th, 2012, the scope ofthe implementation grew to include Ethiopian’s firstBoeing 787 Dreamliner, a historic entry into servicewith a direct, non-stop flight from Washington DC toAddis Ababa.Using the Maintenix solution, Ethiopian Airlines isAbout ETHIOPIANEthiopian Airlines serves 69 internationaldestinations spanning four continents and is amulti-award winner, recently winning Gold inthe African Airline of the Year 2011/2012 Awardsorganized by the African Aviation News Portal.Ethiopian also received the 2011 AFRAA awardfor being consistently profitable over the yearsand won AFRICAN CARGO AIRLINE OF THE YEAR2011 as well as Airline of the Year 2009 from theAfrican Airlines Association (AFRAA).With its acquisition of and firm orders for severalnew modern fleets, the airline is well positionedto aggressively pursue the implementation ofits 2025 strategic plan to become the leadingaviation group in Africa.About MXIWith solutions designedspecifically for aviationmaintenance, Mxi Technologiesprovides integrated andintelligent software, support, and services tocommercial airlines, MROs, OEM aftermarketservice providers, and defense operators. MxiTechnologies’ Maintenix® software uses a modernarchitecture and provides advanced capabilitiessuch as a role-based Web browser interface, longrange and automated line planning, automatedworkflow, electronic signatures, support forportable wireless devices, and a comprehensiverange of integration APIs. Mxi Technologies’customers range from emerging small to midsizedorganizations to the largest global enterprises.confidently managingthe maintenancerequirements of‘classic’, ‘next-generation’ and‘advanced’ fleetswhile enjoyingthe organizationaltransparency and realtime visibility affordedby a modern andholistic maintenancemanagementsolution. Improveddecision-making,faster responseto maintenance requests, and continued return onexperience are just a few of the benefits the companyhas realized and will continue to realize through theimplementation.These benefits and the future receipt of additionalBoeing 787 and Airbus 350 aircraft have positionedEthiopian Airlines for accelerated future growth. Inaddition, the ongoing extension of the company’s thirdparty MRO service offerings to other carriers willconstitute a sizeable part of future revenues.Vision 2025 is the driving force behind the completemodernization of the maintenance unit, an ambitiousfleet renewal strategy, and the induction of Africa’sfirst Boeing 787 fleet into service. By connectingsuccess with its inner purpose through Vision 2025,Ethiopian has realized continued profitability and globalrecognition.With the next stage of Vision 2025 just aroundthe corner, Ethiopian is bolstered by the successfulachievement of these milestones and the knowledgethat they can serve as a model for the industry. nMaintainingthe Boeing787Business driversThe induction of the Boeing 787 is core toEthiopian Airlines Vision 2025 and its objectives forfleet modernization. In addition to enhancing thecustomer experience, this next-generation aircraftprovides the sustainable fuel and maintenanceefficiencies necessary to help the company remaincompetitive in a highly volatile industry. Startingfrom August, 2012, Ethiopian has taken delivery offour 787 aircraft and has flown over 5,500 hours onrevenue-generating routes, serving as an ongoingsymbol of the company’s African and globalleadership. Using Maintenix, Ethiopian has beenable to reduce the time from receipt of new aircraftto revenue-generating route operation to 24 hours,with more than 60 scheduled passenger flightstaking place within the first two weeks followingdelivery of each aircraft.The Maintenix solutionThe volume of software parts, coupled with Boeing’sown concept of operations for maintenance ofsoftware, posed unique configuration, process, andtool challenges for Ethiopian’s MRO organization. Adata migration strategic assessment highlighted andinformed the project strategy and implementationplan, with several data sources used to set systemconfiguration and aircraft baselines, includingthe Illustrated Parts Data (IPD) based on the newSPEC1000D messaging standard.Mxi Technologies’ Maintenix software hasallowed Ethiopian to confidently manage thetechnical complexity inherent in the efficient andprofitable operation of the 787 fleet. With theairplane generating the As Flying ConfigurationReport and Maintenix generating the AllowableConfiguration Report our Engineering departmentis able to identify non-compliance at the point ofmaintenance execution, and track the allowablesoftware configuration per Airworthiness Directive(AD), Service Bulletin (SB), Engineering Order(EO), or scheduled maintenance activity. Whileapplicable to the successful operation of any aircraft,this transparency is particularly important in theoperation of a next-generation fleet due to theexponential increase in compatibility rules caused byan increase in the number of software componentsand the significant revenue impact of maximizingthe use of next-generation fleets.INTERACTIVEASK THE AUTHOR A QUESTIONCLICK HERE to leave YOUR QUESTIONINTERACTIVEJOIN THE DEBATECLICK HERE to leave your feedback about thisarticle and start or join a discussion