By Charlotte Adams
Aviation maintenance software is pervasive today, as managers shift from pencil and paper to some degree of digital assistance. And there’s a world of choice. At last count some 100 different maintenance and engineering applications occupied this space, and now there are probably more. There’s something for everyone—it’s just a matter of finding out what the options are.
Although there is much overlapping between offerings, there are certain broad classifications. Some applications, like enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, include financials and human resources. Others, which are extremely broad within the maintenance arena, may call themselves aviation or MRO ERPs. Many applications inhabit the middle ground, helping users to manage a wide range of maintenance functions. The differences, however, seem to be somewhat a matter of interpretation.
Other applications are more specialized to maintenance, focusing, for example, on tracking the status of projects or regulatory and business documentation. As a minimum, most maintenance software applications do job tracking at some level. Others monitor the supply chain—parts, pricing and availability. Still others help managers to keep a very granular view of project status, so that resources can be shifted based on need.
The processing structure and the interface also vary. Some applications are installed on the user’s internal servers. More and more applications developers also are offering remote cloud-based processing, as well,
along with applications geared to mobile devices and interfaces that are specialized to job functions.
We take a look at almost 20 companies, some of which feature multiple offerings. It is intended to give readers an idea of the scope and variety of maintenance software offerings available today.
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