The Uptime Blog
Tags: MRO, Customer Originated Changes, aircraft maintenance, Job Cards, technical documentation, OEM content, SAP, AMM, Aircraft Maintenance Manuals (AMM), Illustrated Parts Catalogs (IPC), Maintenance Planning Documents (MPD), Master Parts Lists (MPL), SAP/HCL-Axon
I just returned from the 2nd Annual SAP Airline Solution Summit in Dallas, which brought together professionals from around the world from airlines, OEMs, MRO shops, software vendors, IT consultants and even rail professionals. It was an impressive group with a lot of give-and-take between the presenters, the exhibitors and the audience.
During the afternoon breakout sessions, Enigma presented on the topic “Maintenance Scheduling and Integration to Technical Information.” It was a topic that drew a large audience, since we described the impact of OEM revisions on airlines, specifically on the efficiency, consistency and cost of MRO operations. Within this context, Enigma introduced a strategy for improving revision management and adoption through better technology and integration with ERP, tech pubs and maintenance planning systems.
The fact is, how OEM revisions and engineering orders/modifications are managed and integrated into scheduled and unscheduled maintenance activities affects the speed and compliance of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). Since we are talking about revenue-generating assets, MRO efficiency and quality affects the very core of business operations. As a result, for many airlines keeping tech pubs and ERP/MRO systems up-to-date and synchronized has become a full-time job. (This is not unique to airlines but affects every transportation company and transit authority.)
Of particular interest to this audience was that Enigma automatically extracts information from the OEM’s illustrated parts catalogs (IPC), maintenance planning documents (MPD) and maintenance manuals (AMM/EM) and then updates the master parts list (MPL), maintenance requirements (MR) and job cards (task cards) in SAP. This ensures that service and parts data is always in-sync across the airline, whether it is used in a hangar/depot or in the field/flight-line. Since OEMs revise and update their technical documents frequently, airlines consider data accuracy and synchronization to be a huge benefit in terms of maintenance productivity, quality and compliance.
Another consideration is that because technical content directly impacts an airline’s second largest workforce (mechanics and engineers), the quality of that content, more than almost any other factor, determines if an MRO/ERP system succeeds or fails. When Enigma shared some industry metrics regarding the number of OEM changes, and the impact on maintenance operations, it proved the point and highlighted the need for an integrated solution of SAP, HCL-Axon and Enigma to improve aircraft MRO.
The audience in Dallas was very receptive to the insights Enigma was able to provide. Following our presentation, we had a number of conversations regarding the application of this solution beyond airlines including: rail, maritime and freight. We appreciate SAP inviting Enigma to participate in this annual event and hope to have similar opportunities in the future.
Get your company's parts and service information on the Web in 90-days, and update it as often as you want. That's one of the many benefits of Enigma SaaS EPC.
Faster setup and faster revisions, these are the hallmarks of Enigma's new offering and they result in more accurate information and better support for customers, dealers and distributors. These are also the features most requested by current and future customers.
Why do I bring that up? Because with the release of SaaS EPC, Enigma continues its record of providing superior customer performance and value. Once again, Enigma has recognized the deep-seated concerns and challenges that face our customers, and have provided a solution. No longer do companies need to outsource the creation of parts and service catalogs to a 3rd party, and then incur additional costs and delays when changes are required. Now companies of all sizes can afford to have a dynamic and effective web presence for aftermarket sales and support.
We took the industry-leading Enigma 3C catalog technology—currently serving some of the world's largest and most sophisticated manufacturing companies—and crafted a solution that is deployed quickly and keeps the OEM in control of their aftermarket business and customer support. By making ease-of-use a priority and focusing on the needs of OEMs and customers, Enigma SaaS EPC changes the game for companies that rely on aftermarket revenues.
Enigma SaaS EPC is truly an out-of-the-box solution that runs in "The Cloud" and lowers the cost for companies to publish and maintain their parts catalogs and service information. This EPC creates new revenue opportunities for OEMs, and helps dealers/distributors provide faster, more accurate service and support. Because it uses a SaaS model, Enigma SaaS EPC dramatically reduces IT support costs. It complements existing enterprise and e-commerce offerings and improves parts visibility and field responsiveness. Perhaps most importantly, Enigma SaaS EPC improves aftermarket part sales, increases equipment uptime and improves brand loyalty.
There are more benefits that companies will realize by implementing Enigma SaaS EPC but the best way to determine if there's a fit is to have a conversation. We look forward to talking with you about the opportunities and benefits associated with our newest product offering—Enigma SaaS EPC.
Enigma was pleased to host our airline customers at Enigma's 2010 Aviation User Conference. This two-day event in Boston gathered clients and partners from around the world for a wide-array of best practice sessions and product roadmap discussions designed to improve their maintenance and engineering operations.
The focus was on helping our customers realize even greater value from their Enigma investment by integrating ERP/MRO and content management (ECM) systems, thereby bridging the gap between maintenance and engineering (M&E), tech pubs and inventory. One of our longtime customers got the point when he said, "This has grown to be way more than a document viewer!"
The advantage Enigma brings to the aviation community is to ensure service and support data is up-to-date and synchronized across all aspects of aircraft maintenance, which results in faster turn-times, better compliance and lower costs.
The conference sessions were interactive, giving customers an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to Enigma executives, developers and technology partners.
Maintenance and engineering executives from some of the world's leading airlines, including Korean Airlines, Japan Airlines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, attended the conference. In addition, guest speakers from Enigma's key aviation partners, Oracle and SAP, delivered presentations on integrating with corporate IT applications. SAP remarked, "We like working with Enigma because they're smart and aggressive," to which one customer added: "They are aggressive but they're really, really smart."
At the request of our customers, Enigma is making the Aviation User Conference an annual event, and has also created a Customer Advisory Board to dive even deeper into short-term and long-term development plans for improving aircraft maintenance and back-office integration.
Around the globe, there are many conferences each year dedicated to aviation MRO but clearly there is a need for more dialogue and exchange on these topics. The complex issues surrounding aircraft maintenance planning, engineering and execution demand ongoing conversations with peers, and Enigma was delighted to provide a useful forum for that.
The 2010 ATA e-Business Forum, held a few weeks ago in Seattle, was a great success. Of course, being close to Boeing's facilities presented its own benefits. As my taxi passed their plant, just off Interstate 5, I got to see one of the 787 test planes taking off, and it was climbing out at a serious rate. (Watching airplanes do their thing never gets old for me.) The agenda for this event was well balanced, touching on a combination of S1000D, RFID, EFB and MRO topics. This was a well-executed conference, with over 250 attendees from 120 companies, including airlines, MRO shops, OEMs, consultants and technology providers.
The presenters were clearly interested in advocating emerging data standards, like S1000D, and the impact those standards would have on paperless maintenance and flight operations. And while many presentations focused on overcoming the challenges of implementing new data standards, only a few talked about the current maintenance and tech ops environment and how to improve the lives of mechanics today—rather than sometime in the future.
During the Enigma presentation, I shared some sobering numbers about the prevalence of PDF in airline maintenance and the challenges of getting PDF and XML to coexist in a way that helps mechanics' productivity. (Depending on the airline you talk to, 30-70% of OEM manuals are provided in PDF format.) This is a critical issue because for all the great ideas and good intentions around new data standards, without making the PDF content interactive most of those initiatives won't benefit airlines and MROs.
In the GE Aviation presentation, they highlighted the ability to publish full maintenance revisions of engine manuals in about 70 days, and incremental changes almost immediately. However, GE also stressed that a large number of airlines are 1-2 full revisions behind for implementing those new manuals. GE even admitted that at some airlines, engine manuals are as much as 12 months out of date.
GE's presentation could not have been timed better for Enigma. We followed GE and addressed the very topic they were discussing, which is the persistent challenge that airlines face trying to accelerate the implementation of OEM revisions and integrate tech pubs with ERP/MRO. This problem causes an airline's tech pubs and engineering planning systems to get out-of-sync, which results in discrepancies between how line and base maintenance is performed. GE had no answers to this problem, which is understandable because they simply publish maintenance revisions and let the airlines implement them. Enigma, on the other hand, does have answers because we work with airlines to make them more efficient and consistent.
For many attendees, this was the first time they learned that airlines can now implement a fully-integrated maintenance department that ties together tech pubs, engineering, maintenance planning, inventory, line and base maintenance. This is the key to faster maintenance, lower costs and improved compliance. Based on the large number of follow-up questions and comments, it is clear that airlines are having a difficult time managing all the different data formats and standards they are forced to support. Furthermore, it is clear that Boeing, Airbus and all the other manufacturers will continue to have different interpretations of the relevant specs and standards. It is also clear that the new standards are being phased-in by aircraft model and by type of manual, so existing aircraft will be waiting a long time for the new data formats. While this problem is not going away anytime soon, Enigma reduces the impact it has on the airlines' and MRO shops' business.
As the conference in Seattle came to a close, we were encouraged by the high level of customer interest in solving the challenges of airline maintenance. Having many airline customers, Enigma understands the importance of addressing the growing concerns—economic, regulatory, safety, productivity, quality, retirement, etc.—that have come to dominate today's aviation business strategy, and we can help you address them.