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Icelandair MRO project: a flying success helped by Australian experts


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As a result of constant growth and diversification of its services, Icelandair Technical Services (ITS), the Maintenance Repairs Operations (MRO) provider for Icelandair Group, identified the need for a new comprehensive aircraft maintenance management software.

A project of this size had many challenges including:
  • The need to understand current processes and the people involved
  • The need to clearly articulate system requirements and how the new software would be used
  • The acceptance of the new software by the current workforce
  • The training of the workforce to use the new software
  • The creation of supporting material required after the software had gone live

ITS manager finance and resources, Viktor Vigfusson said because most areas of operation strongly interacted with the aircraft maintenance management software, the project was going to bring changes to the vast majority of procedures within ITS.

“It was important to capture our procedures plus the undocumented knowledge and methods of individual employees, find ways for them to share their experience and create best practice standards. We also needed to use this information to produce standardised training documentation to better train and engage new and existing employees,” Vigfusson said.

ITS researched tools that would help the organisation capture and manage all its process, testing, training and standard operating procedures, communicate these across the business and facilitate the transition to the new aircraft maintenance management software.

After assessing potential partners to help with the task at hand, ITS turned to Australian business management systems expert, Holocentric.

Holocentric consulting services manager for the aerospace division, Walter Tran said Holocentric’s experience in the airlines industry facilitated the process.

“We first met Viktor from ITS in Australia when he was here to visit our client Qantas Engineering who had embarked on a similar MRO project two years prior. Our experience in the domain and the possibility of reducing project costs by re-using content were real benefits for Icelandair. Viktor understood how our approach using our tools allowed him to tackle his challenges,” Tran said.

“Although Icelandair’s challenges were generic to all large system implementation projects, what is specific about the airline and the MRO industries is the presence of a unionised workforce. They typically demand that changes be properly understood and documented so as to ensure the workforce transitions smoothly with the system implementation.”

“The advantage of the Holocentric approach is that we specifically focus on the positions and roles that take part in the processes. This helped management understand and communicate the impacts the new system would have on the people involved. As a result, the changes were more easily accepted,” he added.

After an initial trial, ITS started rolling out Holocentric’s business management systems in June 2012. ITS was able to capture all the organisation’s data using Holocentric’s desktop-based modelling tool, Holocentric Modeler, and store it in Holocentric’s central repository, Modelpedia. This information was made easily accessible via Modelpedia’s user-friendly web interface. The business management systems allowed the company to produce the outputs needed for each stage of the project automatically, therefore streamlining the whole process.

Vigfusson said with strong support from Holocentric experts, ITS was able to establish a framework that positively influenced its software implementation project, in addition to providing transparency throughout the process.

“The presentation of the model was customised based on different roles within the organisation which made the process clear to everyone. Our team members found the Holocentric tools easy to use and it provided them with better overview and context when designing processes and detailed work instructions for the new software. A great time saver was the ability to re-use data stored in Holocentric Modeler across various processes, procedures and training material,” he said

“We’ve also been using a feature of Modelpedia which enables employees to comment and communicate on processes. It greatly supports our efforts to engage our workforce in constant process improvements,” Vigfusson added.

By modelling the desired process, ITS was also able to generate training materials for staff and use the model in an ongoing way as the primary reference for the standard operating procedures.

The implementation of Holocentric’s business management systems not only created tangible savings for ITS, but also left the organisation with an asset to benefit from beyond the project timeframe.

“All services provided by Holocentric, including training, consultancy and modelling support, have been of very high standard and testimony of expertise, dedication and professionalism,” Vigfusson concluded.

About Holocentric

Holocentric provides business management systems that help organisations capture, understand, change and optimise every detail of their business – from people, strategy and processes to compliance obligations. They make information accessible, easily understood and personalised to suit the needs of each user.

Holocentric’s aerospace team focuses on providing tailored business management systems, technical services and support to airlines and other related organisations globally.

About Icelandair Technical Services

Icelandair Technical Services (ITS) is the MRO (maintenance, repair and operations), technical services, design services and component services provider for Icelandair Group. Technical support is also provided for customers around the world, including complete aircraft maintenance management and component support. ITS is strategically located at Keflavik Airport, mid-way between Europe and North America. It has line stations at locations worldwide as well as component stocks in Europe, Asia and South America. The organisation is approved in accordance with EASA part 145 as well as having a Russian and Bermudan Maintenance Approval. ITS is also a certified EASA Part M subpart G organisation, an EASA Part 21 subpart J design organisation and an EASA Part 147 type training organisation.