Why Do You Even Need Aviation Maintenance Software?
As an aviation maintenance provider, it is essential that every aspect of your business is tracked in precise detail. Since it is almost impossible to keep track of everything from memory, most small providers use Excel when they start. Excel is an incredible piece of software with an almost endless list of possibilities. A skilled Excel user can therefore produce a spreadsheet that keeps track of many parts of their maintenance business, all from component status to maintenance scheduling.
However, at a certain point when you start getting more and more customers, it becomes too resource intensive to maintain and improve your spreadsheet with new features. The larger your business grows, the more data you have to track, the more checks you have to complete and the more advanced features are necessary, as to not bottleneck other areas of your work.
That is why you need a dedicated aviation maintenance solution. They have all the features you could ever dream of, and it is no longer necessary to develop your own solution in-house. This drastically increases efficiency, as you can now focus on the more important things.
Budget Size and Scale
Aviation maintenance software is expensive, due to strict regulations, advanced features, technological reliability, and much more. It is very easy to blow a ton of money on a solution with many features that you might never use. The largest providers are almost always the most expensive, due to the added requirements of their numerous customers. It is therefore necessary to do a large amount of due diligence before acquiring and implementing a software solution. This can’t be an impulse purchase; research is necessary to avoid being left unsatisfied and having to start all over from scratch again. Especially because the implementation period can stretch over many months for the majority of solutions (although SAM Maintenance Software is an exception to this rule). It is essential that you pick the right software from the start, anything else just ends up wasting both your time, and your money.
However, the bottom line is that the majority of aviation maintenance providers simply don’t have the budget to buy expensive software solutions from the large software providers. They are just way too expensive and you’ll never use most of the features. This is were software companies specializing in small to medium sized businesses come into the picture. Their target market is so different from the large providers, that they don’t even view them as competitors. They have many of the same features, but they are more selective about which features they develop, so you only get the most important and efficient features.
So Which Software Providers Are Best?
It is highly debatable. It depends largely on your business and what functionality you are looking for. The tasks and responsibilities vary greatly between maintenance providers, and therefore their needs do as well. That is why some software companies will always be strong in certain areas, and others stronger in different areas. It all depends on your needs.
The best way to do your research is to first create a list of all maintenance software providers. There are many comparison sites and directories on the internet, but I like to use SourceForge. Once there, start creating a list of all the companies of interest. After that, contact them and ask for a demo, which they will be more than happy to give you. Make a checklist of all the features you need and simply find out if they support all your requirements.
When looking for a maintenance solution, it is obviously important to make sure that it has all the features you’re looking for. However, it is also very important to consider aspects beyond just the feature list. That is why you need to make sure that your chosen solution also delivers on the following points:
- Are they trustworthy enough to store your data?
- How good is their support and are they around your time zone?
- Can they fulfil your requirements regarding customization?
- Can you integrated their system with your other IT solutions?
- How intuitive is the software and how difficult is it to learn?
- Will they keep updating their software with new features?
If you can confidently say that all the points are covered, then it’s finally time to decide. Although this is definitely the hardest part, it should still be quite clear who the winner is, if you have done your research diligently.
About ASA – Airline Software Applications ApS
ASA is a global provider of SAM and SAM Light. SAM is a feature-rich aviation maintenance solution that enables highly optimized, flexible and cost effective procedures for CAMO operators as well as Part-145 MRO providers on the global market. SAM makes it easy to manage your fleet, order your resources, track and analyse, manage your workshop and more.
We also offer SAM Light, a new, web-based version of our popular SAM software for General Aviation customers that need a cost efficient and powerful aviation maintenance software that is compatible with EASA’s Part-M Light regulation change.