Manual vs Automated: How data entry methods & errors affect your flight department’s operations

The eSignature is an acceptable method of compliance not only for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but for all branches of the United States Federal Government and regulatory bodies around the world. The acceptance of the eSignature coupled with the operational adoption of technology and web-based applications, has seen a surge in opportunities for a more streamlined and efficient workflow.

 

This approach to workflow completion and compliance allows many organizations to utilize it in such a way that it increases accountability and oversite, while at the same time decreases the intrusion into a technician’s time. The primary way that this occurs is through the reduction of data redundancy. When you do not have to duplicate your work efforts time and time again, you save time not only on thedata entry, but also measures that allow for data correction.

 

The two most common type of errors are transcription and transposition.

  • Transcription errors are when the data is entered incorrectly such as typos, repetition of words or phrases, and deletion or omission of words. Fortunately, we have spell check, however, traditional spell check doesn’t like many of the technical terms used in aviation, and sometimes a simple letter change can change the whole word.
  • Transposition errors are what happens when you get your numbers mixed up. Did that result in you overflying? Did you schedule maintenance earlier than is prudent? Did you miss a critical inspection?

Two of the most straightforward ways to reduce Error Introduction is to reduce data redundancy and to incorporate Operational Automation.

In most operations, there are many positions where data redundancy is a way of life. People must fill out the same paperwork multiple times, entering and re-entering the same data different times in multiple places repeatedly. Every time you re-enter data into a new place, you introduce the opportunity for error. Many operations have incorporated templates to reduce the amount of typing, which reduces the amount of opportunities for error introduction. The templates help, however when you type the same thing over and over, you now must remember everywhere you entered that data and in the case an error was introduced, you now must find each entry and verify the accuracy. What if you miss one? What if you messed up in a different way on each entry? Utilizing copy and paste helps, but that doesn’t always work depending on the software you are using and what if you copy and paste the error over and over?

 

Leverage technology! Use systems and services that reduce data entry redundancy, streamline your operations, allow you to enter the data in one place and disseminate across multiple usages. This singular location for data entry:

  • Allows the effective implementation of eSignature
  • Simplifies quality checks and corrects errors
  • Secures the historical record
  • Eliminates the need for paper and space to store boxes and boxes of records – saving you thousands in operational costs.

So why use an e-Signature?

The easiest answer is because you can! The FAA, EASA, Transport Canada, along with a host of other regulatory authorities allow it and have issued documentation on how to implement and utilize in your operations. The regulatory bodies along with service providers have worked to come up with systems and processes that are not only effective in the authentication of the user, but also streamline the work flow.

 

A requirement of an effective eSignature implementation is the ability to preserve the “paper” trail in a digital world. To implement the eSignature and be compliant there must be a trail, a historical record of what was done, who signed it, and in what manner. Every time something is signed off, the record must stand in that same state, errors and all. You must have the paper trail. With eSignature, you have the historical data and the paper trail. However, this time you don’t have to redo every piece of paper to correct an error. Depending on your provider, you should be able to error correct an entry within 10 minutes or less, saving you time, money, headache, and reducing the chances of introducing new errors through redundant work.

 

So how do you implement an eSignature into your operations? The best way is to find a partner who has the technology and has already developed the tools. Ensuring that the tools not only meet the regulatory requirements, but also are in step with the latest technological advances and standards for eSignature deployment.

 

Think about using the eSignature for your log book entries, check lists, work orders – anything in your operations where it is important to know who did the work and is confirming it was done correctly. Use the eSignature for internal compliance, for program compliance such as your SMS programs, maybe ISBAO, ARGUS. Think about where could you utilize this tool to streamline your operations and effectively document your workflow.

 

The possibilities for implementation are endless, and the value added to your work day by streamlining the paperwork associated with an effective aviation operation, is priceless.

 

For more information on eSignature, watch this on-demand webinar!

Press Release: Flightdocs Expands Customer Offerings with New Technology Center

BONITA SPRINGS, Florida – May 8, 2018 — Flightdocs, the leading provider of cloud-based aircraft maintenance tracking, compliance, and inventory management services, today announced the establishment of a new technology center. The 6,200-square-foot facility houses nearly 40 developers and other technology experts and became operational this month.

 

The technology center team is focused on enhancing features and functionality of existing Flightdocs products and developing customized, flexible, highly secure solutions to meet the specific needs of individual customers and organizations, according to Rick Heine, chief executive officer of Flightdocs. “This ability to develop secure, custom solutions in a rapid-response environment distinguishes Flightdocs from competitive offerings,” Heine said. “Businesses that are specialized need specialized tools. By investing in this new technology center, we are assuring that customers will get exactly the right products to meet the needs of their operations with no concerns that data or service will ever be lost or interrupted.”

 

In addition, the technology center’s Southwest Florida location is adjacent to abundant technology resources and talent. The local universities have substantial information technology and engineering programs where we recruit students for our intern-development program,” Heine said. “This allows us to cultivate our own talent by having interns grow their skills under the direction of our software engineers. The resulting team of innovative thinkers and problem-solvers continually allows Flightdocs to advance its technological mission here in the U.S.”

 

Flightdocs is backed by a team that is available around-the-clock 365 days a year, with a guarantee that callers will always reach a live analyst and never an answering service or voicemail.

 

About Flightdocs

Flightdocs provides mission-critical, cloud-based aviation maintenance, compliance, and inventory management Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. The company’s solutions help aircraft owners and operators track and manage the maintenance and airworthiness of their aircraft, comply with rigorous safety rules and regulatory guidelines, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and minimize asset downtime. Flightdocs’ customers include Fortune 1000 corporate flight departments, air charters, air medical providers, fractional aircraft operators, government agencies, and regional carriers.  Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Florida, Flightdocs has been serving the aviation industry for over 15 years.

Press Release: Flightdocs Supports Girls Going Places Entrepreneurship Conference

Rhiannon Silvashy to Serve as Aviation and Technology Industry Mentor

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BONITA SPRINGS, Florida – May 9, 2018 — Flightdocs, the leading provider of cloud-based aviation maintenance tracking, compliance, and inventory management services, today announced its support of the Girls Going Places® Entrepreneurship Conference at Florida Gulf Coast University on Wednesday, May 9.

 

Flightdocs employee Rhiannon Silvashy, Vice President of Sales, will serve as a program mentor during the event, which is designed to support and educate young women, ages 12-18, in the areas of entrepreneurship, careers and financial independence. Mentors are business professionals, executives and managers in various public and private institutions and owners of businesses in the Fort Myers community.

 

“I am proud to be part of such a worthwhile event and helping to mentor these young women who are poised to become our future leaders in the Fort Myers area,” said Silvashy. “I am equally proud to represent the Flightdocs organization in this valuable community outreach effort.”

 

“Flightdocs is passionate about supporting our local community and participating in events like Girls Going Places,” said Chief Executive Officer Rick Heine. “Rhiannon is a great role model, and this is an important activity that aligns with our business priorities of promoting career opportunities and growth for women in aviation.”

 

In her role as Vice President of Sales, Silvashy works to establish new business, maintain current business and expand the product into new divisions of the industry. Silvashy added that she is excited about the opportunity to connect with the young women and express the importance of focusing and going after what they want, as well as to introduce them to aviation or technology as career choices. She also plans to convey the importance of “surrounding yourself with strong-minded people who are working and moving towards a goal. That’s important and incredibly powerful.”

 

About Flightdocs

Flightdocs provides mission-critical, cloud-based maintenance, compliance, and inventory management Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to the aviation industry. The company’s solutions help aircraft owners and operators track and manage the maintenance and airworthiness of their aircraft, comply with rigorous safety rules and regulatory guidelines, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and minimize asset downtime. Flightdocs’ customers include Fortune 1000 corporate flight departments, air charters, air medical providers, fractional aircraft operators, government agencies, and regional carriers.  Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Florida, Flightdocs has been serving the aviation industry for over 15 years.

Benefits of Implementing Electronic Workflows In Your Flight Department

In recent years, the industry has seen the positive impact of technology on flight departments, and many operators have made the move to an entirely paperless cockpit. Many aircraft are now equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi, and pilots have replaced their traditional binders with an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) or an iPad. Seeing the success that pilots and crews have had, maintenance managers have begun to implement this technology into their operations.

 

The most common implementation so far has been the switch to paperless processes in the hangar. Taking traditionally tedious paper processes and making them electronic has provided significant benefits to operations around the world, including the elimination of duplicate work and improvement of efficiency. These digital processes are called electronic workflows. There are a wide array of major benefits when it comes to implementing electronic workflows in your operation. These are just a few:

 

  • Automation: The most obvious benefit is the elimination of tedious processes that often take up a majority of operators’ time. With an electronic workflow, you can identify repetitive tasks as well as those that consume a large portion of your time and leverage the system to do the work for you.
  • Predictive Analytics: Dashboards and reports consolidate system-wide data, allowing managers to make effective decisions about the future of the operation without spending hours or days gathering the data.
  • Integration: Electronic workflows generally utilize an API, which allows two different systems to communicate and share data with each other. Integrations allow flight departments to seamlessly share info between critical systems, like a scheduling software pushing aircraft times to a maintenance tracking system. This eliminates duplicate work and reduces potential errors. This is just one example, but API integrations have unlimited potential for reducing extra work in your operation.
  • Mobility and Connectivity: Almost everyone carries their phone with them wherever they go, and almost every pilot carries an iPad. This mobile capability allows operators to communicate and share information with their team instantly, providing the most up-to-date information on their fleet from anywhere with internet connection.

 

These are just a few of the benefits of implementing electronic workflows into your operation, but what are some real-world examples of these benefits? How will this actually improve my flight department?

 

  • Updating Maintenance Items: This historically tedious and time-consuming process can almost be eliminated using automation. Electronic workflows allow operators to “bulk-apply” mass amounts of matching data to maintenance items, such as hours, landings, dates, and even electronic signatures. This completely eliminates hours of handwriting and data entry.
  • QA Process: Every QA process faces their own unique challenges. Electronic workflows allow organizations to set up custom workflows, as well as manage security levels for various tasks. This customization allows operations to streamline their processes while keeping critical quality standards in place.
  • Creating and Storing Logbooks: Electronic logbook creation is one of the biggest benefits that operators are seeing across the industry. Electronic workflows allow operators to easily update maintenance items and create electronic logbook entries in minutes. For larger inspections, this process could take days if done manually. In addition to the time savings, you now have an electronic backup of your logbook entries. (For best practices on data backup, read this)

 

As you can see, electronic workflows have a wide variety of benefits and real-world applications that operators use every day.

 

Also remember, implementing an electronic workflow doesn’t have to be an overnight process. Start by implementing smaller components, such as process automation. Every operation has their best practices due to the unique challenges they face. Get a feel for how technology can improve your process, and you will begin to see endless opportunities for reducing manual labor, streamlining processes, and improving efficiency.

Why is it important to keep electronic backups?

For aircraft, the value is in the logbooks. If logbook entries are missing or lost, it can be almost impossible to know what maintenance has been performed on the aircraft, or if the aircraft is even airworthy. The aircraft can be grounded indefinitely, and operators often incur a heavy cost and time lost to reinstitute airworthiness.This also affects the aircraft’s resale value. If the aircraft’s history is unknown or missing info, the risk to a potential buyer is far too high, and the value of the aircraft decreases significantly. Whatever your maintenance tracking process entails, multiple backups are critical to protecting your aircraft’s value and the operation’s success.Here are a few simple ways that you can back up your files starting today:
  • Scan logbook entries: Scan each logbook entry you create after they’ve been signed. This will give a solid electronic copy of the physical logbook. Save as an image or PDF file for the most effective file size.
  • Store copies in cloud storage solutions and a local hard drive: Using services like Dropbox or Google Drive allow you to upload documents and access them from anywhere. The main benefit is that you’ll have access to them from anywhere as long as you have internet access. Keeping an electronic logbook copy on a local hard drive will ensure access without the need for remote access. Even storing a copy on a mobile device is good while traveling.
  • Create a physical copy: For operators creating paperless logbook entries, printing out a physical copy is recommended.
When relying on external vendors (i.e. maintenance tracking) for data storage, double check to make sure they’re doing everything possible to ensure the security and availability of your data. Ask the following questions when assessing providers:
  • What measures do you have in place to secure my data?
  • How do you back up my data? Do you have internal storage or only rely on outside vendors to store my data?
  • If your system goes down, how will I get access to my data?
  • Have you ever dealt with security breaches? How would you handle it if one happened?
If data security is important to you, then make sure all your requirements are met. Internal storage, top tier data security, and multiple backups are minimum requirements. It’s very common to see companies only relying on external storage vendors such as Microsoft Azure. These services are great, but can limit access to critical data if their service is interrupted or goes down. Dedicated in-house servers and geo-replication of data provide multiple ways of accessing data, ensuring your data is safe in any circumstance.

Press Release: Lee Brewster joins Flightdocs as Director of Customer Solutions

BONITA SPRINGS, Florida – January 15, 2018 — Flightdocs, the leading provider of cloud-based aircraft maintenance tracking, compliance, and inventory management services today announced that Lee Brewster has joined the company as Director of Customer Solutions.

 

“Flightdocs is a dynamic and professional organization devoted to helping industry professionals,” Brewster said. “I couldn’t be happier about this exciting new opportunity with a rapidly growing company that shares my passion for an unwavering focus on its customer commitment.” She serves on the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Maintenance Committee and was most recently Product Sales Manager for FlightSafety International’s maintenance training programs. Brewster has nearly 20 years of industry experience.

 

“We experienced explosive growth in 2017 and expect similar results in 2018,” said Ted Rudich, Executive Vice President of Flightdocs. “Talented and seasoned professionals like Lee allow us to continuously exceed customer expectations in a fast-paced and evolving industry.”

 

About Flightdocs

Flightdocs provides mission-critical, cloud-based maintenance, compliance, and inventory management Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to the aviation industry. The company’s solutions help aircraft owners and operators track and manage the maintenance and airworthiness of their aircraft, comply with rigorous safety rules and regulatory guidelines, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and minimize asset downtime. Flightdocs’ customers include Fortune 1000 corporate flight departments, air charters, air medical providers, fractional aircraft operators, government agencies, and regional carriers. Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Florida, Flightdocs has been serving the aviation industry for over 15 years.

Press Release: Greg Diognardi Joins Flightdocs as Director of Customer Solutions

BONITA SPRINGS, Florida – January 9, 2018 — Flightdocs, the leading provider of cloud-based aircraft maintenance tracking, compliance, and inventory management services, today announced that industry veteran Greg Diognardi has joined the company as Director of Customer Solutions.

 

Greg Diognardi’s 30-year career in aviation started as a U.S. Air Force crew chief on the F-111E Aardvark. His private sector experience includes senior sales positions at CAMP Systems, Landmark Aviation and Standard Aero. He was also Director of Operations and Sales at Flightdocs from 2004 through 2009. “Flightdocs has gone through a massive transformation since I was here eight years ago,” Diognardi said. “I’m so impressed by its growth, its continued commitment to the customer and the Enterprise Platform. The company is now positioned as the industry leader in technology and customer support. It’s mind-blowing. I’m very excited to rejoin the Flightdocs team, and look forward to helping improve business aviation operations worldwide.”

 

“We are very happy to have Greg back on the team,” said Rick Heine, CEO of Flightdocs. “To support our continued growth, we are hiring for several key roles and Greg’s extensive industry experience and knowledge in maintenance management make him an excellent addition. His expertise will be leveraged for supporting our customer base, enhancing our product offerings, growing our market share and expanding into new segments of the industry.”

 

About Flightdocs

Flightdocs provides mission-critical, cloud-based maintenance, compliance, and inventory management Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to the aviation industry. The company’s solutions help aircraft owners and operators track and manage the maintenance and airworthiness of their aircraft, comply with rigorous safety rules and regulatory guidelines, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and minimize asset downtime. Flightdocs’ customers include Fortune 1000 corporate flight departments, air charters, air medical providers, fractional aircraft operators, government agencies, and regional carriers. Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Florida, Flightdocs has been serving the aviation industry for over 15 years.

Press Release: Flightdocs Announces Strategic Growth Investment From Argentum

http://www.aviationpros.com/press_release/12379551/flightdocs-receives-10-million-strategic-growth-investment-from-argentum

 

BONITA SPRINGS, FL AND NEW YORK, NY – November 7, 2017

 

Flightdocs, a leading provider of cloud‐based maintenance, compliance, and inventory management Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to the business aviation industry, today announced the close of a $10 million strategic investment from Argentum, a growth equity firm that partners with entrepreneurial owners to build industry leading B2B software and technology‐enabled services companies.

 

Recognized as a market leader in technology, innovation, and service, Flightdocs provides its software to Fortune 1000 flight departments, air medical service providers, air charter and fractional  aircraft  operators, regional airlines and law enforcement departments. Flightdocs software serves the mission critical need of helping aircraft owners ensure aircraft safety, comply with rigorous rules and guidelines imposed by global regulatory agencies, and improve operational efficiencies and aircraft availability.

 

“Since the 2016 introduction of our new cloud‐based platform (FD Enterprise), we have experienced tremendous growth in bookings and the number of aircraft enrolled on Flightdocs,” said Rick Heine,  Founder and CEO of Flightdocs.  “To support this growth, we have been continuously and aggressively investing in our business ‐ adding personnel, scaling our infrastructure, and accelerating our product  development efforts to ensure that our clients continue to receive the most innovative solutions and most responsive customer service and support in the industry.  Given Argentum’s extensive track‐record  supporting B2B enterprise software companies, particularly in the compliance and transportation sectors, we feel they are the ideal investment firm to partner with us and enhance these initiatives as we take  Flightdocs to the next level.”

 

“The  recent  release  of FD Enterprise  further extends Flightdocs’  technology leadership position in the business aviation market,” said Daniel Raynor, a Managing Partner of Argentum, who will join Flightdocs’  Board of Directors in connection with the investment.  “We are excited to support the Flightdocs team as  it continues to expand its  footprint in the aviation market through the development of market leading  products and the delivery of exceptional customer experiences.”

 

Chris Leong, Principal at Argentum, added, “We have been very impressed by what Flightdocs has achieved to date and look forward to partnering with Rick and his team for the company’s next phase of growth.” 

 

About Argentum

 

Argentum is a New York‐based growth equity firm that supports entrepreneurial owners in building industry leading companies. The firm partners with management teams of companies with revenues of $5 to $30 million to provide capital to accelerate growth, fund acquisitions or generate shareholder liquidity.  Since raising its first fund in 1990, Argentum has invested in over 80 companies and supported over 200 add‐on acquisitions in software, technology‐enabled services, and business services. 

 

About Flightdocs

 

Flightdocs provides mission‐critical, cloud‐based maintenance, compliance, and inventory management  Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to the aviation industry.  The company’s solutions help aircraft  owners and operators track and manage the maintenance and airworthiness of their aircraft, comply with rigorous safety rules and regulatory guidelines, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and minimize asset downtime. Flightdocs’  customers include Fortune 1000 corporate  flight  departments, air charters, air medical providers, fractional aircraft operators, government agencies, and regional carriers. Headquartered in  Bonita Springs, Florida, Flightdocs has been serving the aviation industry for over 15 years.

Flightdocs and The Independence Fund

This 4th of July as we celebrate our independence, Flightdocs Inc., is pleased to extend its commitment to our nations wounded warriors through The Independence Fund.  The mission of the IDF is to give severely wounded service members back the freedom of mobility.  By providing all-terrainwheel chairs to combat amputees and continued support to the caregivers of those wounded heroes, The Independence Fund is pivotal in rejuvenating the mind and soul of those who’ve paid freedoms price.  

 

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To date, Flightdocs has donated a total of 7 all-terrain wheel chairs and the most recent donation this year goes to an Air Force veteran of 13 years.   We feel obligated to give back to the community and we’re honored to align with a truly selfless organization such as the Independence Fund.

To learn more about the Independence Fund and donation opportunities please visit:
independencefund.org

Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!

FD News: Firehawk Helicopters Selects Flightdocs, Inc.

 FD Logo.png                        FH.jpg

Firehawk Helicopters Selects Flightdocs for Maintenance and Inventory Management Software Solution.
2017 HAI Convention, Dallas, Texas – March 6, 2017

Florida-based Flightdocs Inc., a global provider of aircraft maintenance and inventory management software, is pleased to announce that Firehawk Helicopters has selected Flightdocs as a holistic solution for improving maintenance tracking, inventory, and forecasting. Headquartered in Leesburg, Florida with a Western operations base in Boise, Idaho, Firehawk operates 9 Sikorsky Black Hawks, both the S-70 and UH-60 and 5 Airbus H125 Astar helicopters.  Firehawk is the most experienced operator of the Black Hawk in aerial firefighting, heavy lift, film and TV, and R & D flight testing.

 

Bart Brainerd, President of Firehawk Helicopters, reported that “We spent a significant amount of time analyzing different options available for maintenance and inventory management software, and we are pleased to announce our decision to partner with Flightdocs. With a fleet of 14 aircraft, 65 employees, and 2 different bases, we were searching for a platform that would give us real-time insight into our operation and would help streamline our daily processes and tracking.  The Flightdocs HMX platform is extremely powerful and easy to use.  This will bring significant efficiencies into the operation.  In addition, Flightdocs is the only solution available that is built and supported in the United States. The Flightdocs customer support was a key differentiator in our decision.  Their commitment to customers has been evident in their evolution as a company and growth of their customer base, and we look forward to a successful long term partnership.”

 

Rhiannon Silvashy, VP of Sales at Flightdocs, said “We are very happy to announce this partnership with the Firehawk Helicopters team. With the release of Flightdocs HMX, our product, service, and pricing is positioned perfectly to support operations like Firehawk. Maintenance planning, work orders, compliance, inventory and purchasing are fully integrated, and included under one subscription. It’s giving customers the ability to manage their maintenance from start to finish, in real-time, with an easy to use web and mobile interface. The HMX platform gives us great flexibility, and allows us to track any type of aircraft, with custom configurations, including the Black Hawk platform. We love expanding our reach to new operations, and are excited to support Firehawk Helicopters into the future.”

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Greg Heine
COO, Flightdocs, Inc.
239-390-3199
gheine@flightdocs.com

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