Industry Insights

6 Common Reasons Operators Resist Upgrading Aircraft Maintenance Tracking Systems And How To Overcome Them

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Change management (sometimes abbreviated as CM) is a collective term for all approaches to prepare, support and help individuals, teams, and organizations in making organizational change. In a flight department, some of the most common change drivers include; technological evolution, process reviews, crisis management, and organizational restructuring. In an environment such as this, technological evolution and its adoption, have significant impacts on cost, aircraft downtime, compliance and safety.

To put it simply, change management is not easy and could be outright scary.

Industry studies have found that trends in technology change management are slow to move through our industry. Operators fear the time it will take, how it will affect their operation or their team, and the potential pitfalls it may cause if not executed properly. However, sticking with the old in fear of the new has proven to slow processes, negatively impact personnel output, and may even result in significant costs to an organization. So, why stay with a process that doesn’t propel your operation forward?

In this blog post, we share the 6 common reasons why many operators resist upgrading or changing aircraft maintenance tracking systems, processes, or vendors despite inefficiencies, redundant steps and paperwork, outdated interfaces, lack of innovation and poor customer support.

6 Common Reasons Why Operators Resist Upgrading Aircraft Maintenance Tracking Systems

1. I need to stay on the manufacturer’s program.

As an aircraft owner/operator, you can choose any solution provider in the industry. Some OEMs provide a default subscription to a maintenance tracking provider with delivery, this does not mean it is your only option. If you are in the process of negotiating your contract for delivery, you can specify the solution you want before or at the time of delivery. The manufacturer may have an agreement with a provider, but the FAA does not require you to go with the manufacturer’s recommendation.

2. We have too much history in the current system. I’m afraid I will lose my data

While a very valid concern, the solution you select should come with end-to-end support and service throughout the transition process and beyond. It starts with the enrollment process. How many people are involved? What steps do they take to ensure all of your data is captured, updated, and accurate before it gets turned over to you? Will you have check in points throughout the process, keeping you informed of timeline, potential errors identified and corrected? Will you be able to call in and check on the status of your enrollment and speak to a live person?

Your service provider should have options for preserving the historical data of your aircraft. At Flightdocs we have several options for our customers: we can upload scanned records so they are easily accessible, we can assist in creating a searchable pdf that is easily uploaded and searchable, or we can work with you to migrate the records into the Flightdocs system. These are services you should come to expect from a reputable provider. Make sure they are working for you, nonstop to keep your operation humming.

3. It’s not the right time for us, we’re not ready.

You’re busy and have a lot of different fires to put out.  While you may think that switching to a new solution will take too much time, think of all the time you are spending working around the gaps in your current process. What about redundant data entry, paperwork, or waiting for support to call you back?

Innovative technology solutions, such as Flightdocs, are developed for busy flight departments like yours, so the enrollment process is designed to minimize any disruption to your daily activities. These tools are designed to optimize your operation and the transition process should be seamless. When considering a change, ask about the enrollment roadmap. Your vendor should be an extension of your department causing minimal to no disruption during this time.

4. The value of my aircraft will be impacted.

This is a very legitimate concern. In fact, 70% of your aircraft value is in the records. Flightdocs as well as our customers, have reached out to numerous individuals and brokers who have been through buy/sell process and it has been unanimous that being on the manufacturer’s recommended program does not impact the value of your aircraft. They are also adamant that being on a computerized maintenance tracking program does impact the value. Data accuracy and accessibility of the records drives up your ability to resell your aircraft, therefore selecting the right maintenance tracking provider with the best customer service and advanced technology is key to the value you will get from your asset.

5. I can’t get buy-in or support from my team to make a switch.

Perhaps you have identified a better solution for your operation but can’t get other members of your team to support the switch, or your executives are not completely sold on a new solution. First step would be to identify concerns. Include your vendor in the process of gaining buy-in. Share the internal concerns and questions so that your vendor can customize a demo or meeting. Having your team share their challenges with you and/or your vendor will guide the conversation and demo towards a relevant discussion, alleviating any angst around upcoming changes.

6. I’m selling the aircraft.

Selling your aircraft can be quite a process but a perfect time to get it set up on a maintenance tracking platform. Think about this as a quality check for your records. A solution like Flightdocs ensures that your records are pristine and accurate. Providing the buyer with documents that are complete and easily accessible creates a sense of confidence in the aircraft being purchased, plus builds trust in you as the seller. Not to mention, your resale value will hold strong, if your records are in order. Consider a vendor that will do the work for you to ensure that all revisions are updated and all work order history is logged.

If you connected with any of these concerns, then you’re not alone. Change could be difficult, however the right vendor takes the position of a partner when it comes to guiding and helping you along the process. If you’re feeling stuck with the old because it’s what you know, but know that your day-to-day can improve with new technology, send us your aircraft or fleet information and we will send you a quick quote and also walk you through our enrollment process. In the meantime, see how this operator overcame his skepticism and made the switch.

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About ATP.

ATP is the leading provider of aviation software and information services.

Our innovative product lines, including Flightdocs, Aviation Hub, ChronicX, and SpotLight, reduce operating costs, improve aircraft reliability, and support technical knowledge sharing and collaboration in all aviation and aerospace industry sectors.

The products and services of ATP support more than 75,000 aircraft maintenance professionals worldwide. As a global company, ATP has more than 7,500 customers in 137 countries and partnerships with over 90 OEMs.