Bankruptcies, mergers, and acquisitions such as Zoom, Iberia and Austrian prove the need for enterprise asset management (EAM) and maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) systems to be more than just effective, they also need to be virtually portable and a source of competitive advantage.
Looking at a friendly move such as the proposed alliances at Austrian gives some idea of the challenge. According to Austrian's current website, the group is flying about a dozen types different types including Airbus 321 / 320 / 319, Boeing 777 / 767 / 737, Fokker 100 / 70, Bombardier Q400 / Q300 and Canadair across a fleet of almost 100 aircraft. Most likely some of these aircraft are heavily dependent on outside maintenance providers, some of the powerplants may be running on a power by the hour basis some not, some aircraft or major components will have real time performance monitoring and data transfer and others may have little support technology behind them.
All of this adds up to a very normal situation where the data concerning the main operating assets are held in multiple databases, many of which are not connected and some may be outwith the company's ability to easily access
One of several suitors, most probably Lufthansa will have to integrate the Austrian operation into their own and generate worthwhile operational savings to help justify the investment. The lifecycle cost of managing the fleet will need to find a significant contribution to those savings. Whoever can manage that integration most effectively find and exploit savings in key areas will be able to build the most convincing business case and create the clearest competitive advantage.
This brings the portability of not only the data, but the data management processes themselves into the front line of business decision making at the corporate level as well as operationally.
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