Much depends on factors such as the size of an organization, its operational focus, what software it already has—whether it wants to replace the application or augment it—and what particular functions are desired.
This year’s showcase describes programs from the best-known suppliers and updates readers about the latest features and offerings. These range from enterprise resource planning (ERP) style solutions to products that focus in-depth on tasks such as project management or document exchange. Many software developers are adding browser interfaces and tablet and mobile phone access, which promise to accelerate feedback on labor and material costs. Many stress the modularity, affordability, and flexibility of their offerings.
Demand for these products is substantial. Companies like Mxi Technologies and Swiss AviationSoftware say they are growing, as operators and maintenance shops recognize the value of productivity software. Work continues to shift from operators to MROs, observes James Elliott, Mxi product marketing manager.
ERP and ERP-Like
Pentagon 2000 Software (pentagon2000.com) addresses commercial, corporate, and military aviation, as well as repair stations, distributors, manufacturers, and operators. Its software, PENTAGON 2000SQL, is described as an “MRO & ERP” system, including financial and accounting functions. Modules include capabilities to support fleet management, flight operations, aircraft record keeping, maintenance, component repairs, and materials management.
The system can be installed locally or hosted remotely. Recent developments include expanded cloud implementation and increased deployment of mobile apps. Currently there are 11 mobile apps for the Apple iOS environment, including work order traveler, electronic-pick ticket, and labor collection functions, aimed at more complete tracking of labor and material costs. The company recently introduced a new version of its server-based system, and a new HTML client is slated to begin phased deployment in coming months.
Pentagon2000SQL’s e-commerce tool also has been enhanced, says Kirk Baugher, executive vice president of business development. The company boasts more than 1,000 installations, including customers such as the U.S. Air Force, Fokker, Boeing Sikorsky Aircraft Support, ANA, and HEICO.
Ultramain Systems (ultramain.com) provides integrated maintenance and logistics software. The company classifies its ULTRAMAIN aviation maintenance solution as “ERP software in the M&E and MRO space.” It provides functions such as line and base maintenance planning, scheduling, and execution as well as regulatory compliance tracking, configuration management, maintenance programs, engineering management, budgeting, billing, cost accounting, supply, purchasing, asset management, reliability reporting, and analysis.
New features include the incorporation of optimization in areas such as fleet planning, maintenance scheduling, labor resource management, and hangar bay management. In addition, the software’s ePaper feature allows users to manage the maintenance process—from planning to signoff—in paperless fashion. The software also includes platform-independent mobility tools accessible on iPads, iPhones, and other devices. It can be processed locally or via the cloud.