By October 2016, IFS was about two-thirds the way through implementation of an integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Fleet Management and Enterprise Asset Management, or maintenance, software for Affinity’s 36 civil aircraft. Andy Worwood, account manager for IFS Europe West, expects completion by the end of 2016.
Affinity is a start-up joint venture of KBR and Elbit Systems to do basic pilot training for the UK. The company wanted an integrated ERP, fleet and MRO system that would stay integrated for the 18-year life of its contract with the UK Ministry of Defense. IFS’s solution will be approved for EASA Part M and Part 145, another requirement because Affinity will be flying three models of civil aircraft. IFS’s Vehicle Information Management module was the key to meeting the MRO requirement, and its integrated solution initially met 94 percent of Affinity requirements. IFS had only to enhance combined maintenance and operational planning to satisfy the full list of requirements.
Worwood says lessons learned in implementation included the need for a committed customer team, since the customer, not IFS, must be certified by EASA, and the wisdom of phasing in ERP first, then MRO later, after the UK MoD delayed approval of Affinity’s contract.
The implementation covers a small fleet of small training aircraft, but IFS’s solution has been implemented at Emirates Engineering, with more than 250 large commercial aircraft. Most airlines prefer to select separate ERP and maintenance solutions. But IFS is especially strong in maintenance as the firm started out as an asset management company.