Every aviation business owner or manager has the situation at least once a month when they have to dive into multiple locations to get the data and information they require to either make good decisions or get a good idea of where the business is at. Finances, job management, maintenance tracking, operations, sales and marketing and any other systems or departments you might have. This may mean scouring handwritten documents, spreadsheets or logging in from software to software to get the data needed. It can be an ordeal. Even more important than the once a month reporting is the day to day of needing the right information to do your job. Is this aircraft ready to go? Has the passenger been assigned a flight? Is that product making us any money?
Trying, as much as possible, to have once source of truth and have it all stored in one location is the best way to get efficiency in you aviation business. This one source of truth may be a range of things. A Customer relationship management system (CRM), Project management software, spreadsheets or an Aviation specific software like Aeronet. There are 6 reasons why we think this one source of truth is important to business success.
- There is ease of knowing where to find things
- You are able to generate reports across multiple parts of your business
- All aspects of a customer relationship in one place
- Traceability of data
- Getting data from one place to another
- You only need to enter data once to get it everywhere
Let's go through each of those in detail:
1. There is ease of knowing where to find things
There is nothing worse than knowing you need some data or information about a client, aircraft or job and not being able to remember where that data was the last time you saw it. Was it in that spreadsheet, in my emails or on that job card that was floating around the office? Having one source of truth in your business makes things much easier to find. You go to that one piece of software and you know the information will be there most of the time.
Also, when it comes to training new staff, limiting the number of things they need to learning to get up to speed and then the number places they need to go to get information is massively beneficial. We've all had that situation of helping onboard a new employee and when they ask "Do you also do X with this software?" And you have to sheepishly respond with "No, actually. We use this other thing." It can be confusing and time consuming for new staff to learn all the data sources.
2. Ability to generate reports across multiple parts of your business
Having one source of truth in your business allows you to pull all sorts of reports about your business and because all the data is in one place, you can cross reference aspects of your business. For example, maybe you want to know how many bookings for a specific type of tour came to your business from certain countries and which countries spent the most on those tours. This is much easier if you have bookings types, financial information and passenger details all in one source. Or perhaps you need to know which client's aircrafts are requiring which parts every time they come in for their 100 hour service (due to a type of flying) and which of your team members have been working on that more than others on those aircraft. This is difficult if inventory, time tracking and jobs are all tracked in different pieces of software but if there is one source of truth with all that data in it, getting a report for those will be breeze.
3. All aspects of a customer relationship in one place
When you want to see a detailed insight into the relationship you have with a client, having everything in one place is very beneficial. Just finding out how much one client has spent with you is useful but if you can add who their key team members are, how many jobs that relationship has bought and all the history that goes a long with that, you can have much more meaningful relationships. CRM's are the ultimate version of this as they can track emails, phone calls and other integrations with clients. This is generally too far for an MRO or Aviation operator but a simpler version of this that connects to your contacts to jobs/flights and has all the details of the customer and clients is key.
4. Traceability of data
Having one source of truth and one place where all the data is stored makes it much easier to trace the data. Traceability is key to find out where the data originally came from. Was it entered manually or added automatically by one of your automations. It also helps with accountability so that if there are errors, you can track where they came from. What is the source and how can those errors be rectified in the future. If there is data in all sorts of different locations, it can be difficult to see where the original source or error came from.
5. Getting data from one place to another
Moving data from one source to another can cause lots of issues. Whether its manually entering data back and forth between systems by hand, doing it using CSV's or accessing data via API's, this can be a time consuming or costly process.
- Manually Entering Data – This is usually time consuming, labor intensive and a mundane job for someone in your organization to do. Data entry is not a great way to manage data.
- Downloading & Uploading CSV's – Although most often quicker doing mass data migration than manually, it can be very confusing and if the data isn't in the exact right format, it can error and then you have to hunt for that one piece of data with a weird character or space that is causing the issue. Also, you end up with multiple versions of the same CSV which can be confusing.
- API data transfer – This is the most reliable and accurate but the most complex and expensive. Most bits of software have an API (application programming interface) where a developer can get data from one software and drop it into another and then used however needed. The cost and effort of this can sometimes be too much for most businesses and whenever an update is needed, you need to reengage with the developer to update.
Having all the data in one place, and one place that can do most of the things you need it to do, is the best way to make sure that getting data to and from where you need it is the easiest. API's are a great way to connect systems but it is best to use API's that are supported by your software of choice.
6. You only need to enter data once to get it everywhere
Arguably the best thing about having one source of truth is that that once data is entered, it can be used wherever and whenever again. No need to enter it again in a different location. Just reference it and it will be available to show where needed. The time saving and efficiency of that can be huge. No need to enter data again and risk possible mistakes. Once a job is complete, everything can automate the completion tasks and notify anyone needed to move onto the next part of the process. Single data entry (or ideally no data entry #automation) is the ideal and the key benefit of having a single source of truth.
Data is key for business success
Running an aviation business can be difficult and not having the right data or wasting time collecting and managing that data can be both disheartening and incredibly frustrating. By having one source of truth in your aviation business, it can solve all sorts of issues including knowing where to get the data, generating reports right across your business, seeing all data about a customer in one place, tracking where data originated, moving data around easily and single data entry.
If you are new to Aeronet and would like a demo of how it can work as your once source of truth in your aviation organisation and other, we'd love to show you on a demo of Aeronet. If you are an Aeronet client and would like to discuss how to get Aeronet really working as your one source of truth, please contact us and we can organise a call to go through where we can help add more efficiencies.