Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hidden Tip for Web Based Aviation SMS Automated Email Notification

Automated Email Notification for Overdue Hazard Reviews

The more sophisticated Web based aviation safety management system software for aviation has built in schedulers that can perform automated tasks. Configuring automated tasks requires understanding the capabilities of the aviation SMS software and what to ask for. The following tips are advanced subjects for configuring the automated email notifications for overdue airline/airport reported incidents and accidents and their associated corrective preventive actions.

Aviation SMS Software Settings: Who Gets Notified For Particular Events?

Not all users should be notified for each type of event in your aviation SMS software. There is a fine line of quality, informed email notifications and desensitizing the user due to information overload caused by a flood of email notifications from your airline/airport hazard reporting and risk management software program.

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In most cases, users need to know when they have overdue tasks, corrective preventive actions or assigned issues. It is best that users get a summary email listing out the numbers of types of issues requiring attention. Specific details should be left out for security purposes.

Upper level management should be notified when the airline or airport encounters a high risk issue. Emails are trigger automatically in SMS Pro when high risk issues are first discovered and also when  the accident or incident investigation (entire issue) is closed. Notifying upper management that a high risk issue has been closed makes good sense because management may wish to follow up to determine whether the accident or incident was managed properly. In other cases, an upper level manager may wish to notify affected stakeholders that the matter has been resolved.

When Are Notifications Sent in Aviation Safety Management Software?

Events or event dates trigger notification. Events may be "high risk closed," or "you have been assigned a corrective preventive action." Understanding these "new action" events is very easy. Time related events, such as expiration dates, and "action required on dates," is also not difficult to understand, but requires that administrators understand that functionality exists to manipulate email notifications for your hazard reporting and risk management software program. This leads us to discuss event/task lead times.

Understanding Task Lead Times in Aviation SMS Software

Often, we don't want to be notified the day an issue is due. In the aviation safety Policies and Procedures module in SMS Pro, you will notice that there are lead times to notify you before a policy or procedure requires review. In this case, you can set two reminders or task lead times. These are Task Lead Time #1 and Task Lead Time #2. When you set the first task lead time, such as 14 for example, you will be notified 14 days ahead of time that the selected policy or procedure requires review. In this case, the manager of the aviation safety Policies and Procedures module has complete control over the "task lead times."

For other tasks, corrective preventive actions and "assigned" reported airline/airport accidents and incidents, the task lead time is not configurable by the SMS Admin. You will need to contact SMS Pro support staff to set a Global Task Lead Time setting in the database that is common for your company, regardless of whether you have 20 employees or 10,000 employees on the portal. This task lead time is set to 0 by default. This means that when the item is due/overdue, you are automatically notified by email.

Hidden Setting for Aviation SMS Email Notifications

There is a setting that NWDS support staff can set in the database called Task Lead Time. By default, it is set to 0, which means that no lead time is calculated before sending email notifications for overdue or coming due assigned issues, tasks or corrective preventive actions. If this setting interests you, then contact NWDS to change this setting from the default setting. You may wish to set the task lead time to three or seven. This setting should be discussed among top management so everyone understands the process.

Reduce Confusion on Task Lead Time for Aviation SMS Email Notifications

Users can easily understand due/overdue concepts. Task lead time may confuse users, so this concept must be taught to everyone concerned. Because of this potential risk of confusion, the setting default is 0.

About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. In 2007, NWDS developed SMS Pro™ a web based SMS application that supports an organization's overall SMS through safety reporting, safety documentation, safety risk management and safety assurance. SMS Pro™ is currently used by aviation organizations in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East to help manage their SMS programs. NWDS continues to support SMS Pro™ and add new functionality. NWDS offers custom contract programming services in the U.S. and Canada and is managed by Chris Howell, one of the founders. Their headquarters is in Anchorage, Alaska. For information on NWDS visit their website at and to learn more about SMS Pro™.

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