Friday, January 25, 2013

Web Based Integrated Aviation Safety Management System Advantages

 Web Based Integrated Aviation Safety Management Systems

In the beginning, there was paper to perform the risk management functions of airlines. Paper was a bit difficult to track, and it was easier to keep risky elements off paper in order to avoid the paper trail that lawyers love to chase. Paper gave way to desktop computers and internal networks as managers realized that data could be safety and efficiently stored on spreadsheets and home grown databases. The Web was still young and Web based risk management applications were not as rich as  today's integrated aviation safety management systems.

Growth of Aviation Safety Management Software Industry

SMS Pro Web Based Safety Management Software
Web based aviation safety management systems didn't really start taking hold until about 2008. The reason these aviation risk management solutions were not popular is because the aviation industry focuses their money on equipment, fuel and labor. Marketing is also high on the list, but this is a necessity to increase sales. Marketing expenditures compared to return on investment are more visible than spending money on Web based aviation safety management system. After all, paper still existed, and most managers had access to MS Word, MS Excel and MS Access. The larger companies also may have dedicated software engineers sitting on their thumbs. These folks were often tasked to creating in house desktop aviation safety management programs, but they were not complete systems. These early systems focused on risk management, financial aspects of reported issues and neglected the safety promotion activities common today in the best of breed aviation safety management software suites.

What Drove the Explosion of Web Based Aviation SMS Software?

In 2006, the international aviation regulatory authorities determined that not enough emphasis was placed on aviation safety. Many countries and airlines were black-listed from operating in Europe and the United States. Something needed to be done to ensure some minimal standards were developed to enhance safety. This is when aviation safety management became a buzzword. SMS training companies started training thousands of pilots on the fundamentals of aviation safety management. But true Web based aviation safety management software lagged. Most operators didn't have hundreds of thousands of dollars available to create their Web based aviation SMS software programs.

To put a temporary fix, many Web based hazard reporting software programs came on the scene. They claimed to be complete aviation safety management systems, but the developers were too shortsighted, or perhaps didn't want to spend the time reading the requirements put out by ICAO and other civil aviation authorities.

Integrated Aviation Safety Management Software Solutions Debated

Aviation quality management system with web-based SMS databases were becoming a concern as operators tried to integrate safety and quality management principles into the same Web based framework. The debate still rages on this topic.

Advantages of Web Based Aviation Safety Management Software

The advantages of having Web based aviation safety management systems are many. Having the ability to perform your risk management tasks online, wherever you may be today is a big bonus. Users can report aviation accidents and incidents regardless of where they are located as long as they have Internet connectivity.  Another advantage of having Web based SMS software programs is that you don't have to worry about your data. If you lose your computer, or somebody steals it, you will be assured the data is safe.

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™.