If you are an airline or airport safety manager new to the aviation SMS, here is a quick primer on aviation safety management software to help shorten your learning curve.
Top Aviation SMS Software Selection ChallengesAviation safety management software can be a challenging technology to fully understand. It can be difficult for safety managers to tell which solution is best for their airline, airport, flight school or aviation maintenance company, especially when each of these industry sectors have special needs AND every aviation SMS software company claims to have the key benefits that will serve your enterprise best. This becomes even more complicated for the smaller airlines, airports, MROs and FBOs who want the great functionality of an enterprise-class system at an affordable price.
Because of these factors, it's best to keep these factors in mind when selecting an aviation SMS software solution for your airline or airport.
1) Ease of Use, Installation & Configuration of Aviation SMS Software
Small airlines, airports and aviation maintenance organizations appoint safety managers who have a track record of "getting things done." These safety managers are busy and don't have the time to waste on lengthy, complicated software installations or complicated configurations. If you belong to this group of small aviation service providers, choose an aviation SMS software solution that is easy to manage and configure, not only from the installation and configuration stages, but also in day to day operations.
2) Open Platform Design
The best aviation SMS software solutions are as "device agnostic" as possible and support a wide range of browsers, touch screen devices and smart phone technologies. If the solution is not Web enabled, do not choose this solution. Your aviation SMS software should be accessible to the entire organization, whether they are in Seattle or flying above the Arctic Circle. Choose aviation safety software solutions that can work in offline modes if your airline or airport employees need to conduct tasks outside the range of a reliable Internet connection.
3) Low Installation & Total Ownership Costs
Look for an aviation SMS software solution that integrates easily with many hardware devices. The best software solutions use cost-effective and scalable system architecture to optimize and extend operational efficiency over the years. For example, SMS Pro uses "modules" that plug into the system that can be upgraded without affecting the rest of the application.
4) Intuitive Display and Interactivity Features
Your chosen aviation SMS software solution should intuitively serve the unique needs of your airline or airport. Today's aviation safety software packages provide configurable interfaces that require no in-depth computer expertise. Whenever complicated workflows are present, remember that the best aviation SMS software providers have online video training libraries and help documentation. Documentation should be easy to search.
5) Centralized Data Storage
The best aviation SMS software solutions keep all the data in one centralized location. These include audit results, hazard reports, safety meeting documentation, policies and procedures, etc. When your airline or airport's safety program is not well organized, this sends a red flag to auditors that your company is not well organized.
6) Future Proof Architecture Design
Choose an aviation SMS software solution that can easily scale as your airline or airport scales in size and scope of operations. The best aviation SMS software solutions are designed to be used for either small or large multinational operations. MS Access and MS Excel should not be considered. Too many safety programs start using these technologies, but they are not scalable. Within a few years, your company will be spending more time and money trying to withstand audits than if you simply chose a quality aviation SMS software product for your airline, airport, aviation maintenance organization or flight school.
For more information on SMS Pro, visit this aviation safety management software (SMS) software website.
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 www.asms-pro.com to learn more about SMS Pro™.