What is an enterprise asset management (EAM) system for Ground Support and Equipment (GSE)?
Asset management at the most basic level is the process of tracking, maintaining, upgrading and retiring of operational assets over the course of their respective lifecycles. Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems for Ground Support and Equipment (GSE) enables the collection of various measures and management of the aforementioned processes through modules such as maintenance tracking, work order management, warranty management, inventory management, etc.
How are EAM systems used to make optimal decisions in GSE?
As EAM systems allow for the collection of data from a variety of sources, both human and machine, operators and managers can leverage this data to optimize for desired results and outcomes. This might include functions such as Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), Fleet Size, Fleet Lifecycle, etc. In ground handling, examples of optimization questions could be as follows:
- How many GSE assets of a certain type do I need to minimize TCO, while also ensuring a desired level of asset uptime and availability to serve the number of turns desired?
- What combination of preventative maintenance schedules, parts catalogs and labor hours spent on a piece of GSE maximizes its life, while also keeping costs below the price of acquiring new GSE?
From this data, leaders can generate metrics that are important to the organization and apply industry best-practices and policies to control these metrics are necessary conditions to achieve optimization.
What insights are gained from GSE asset management?
Generating good insights requires accurate and sufficient amounts of data at the right frequency and from the right sources. EAM solutions built for GSE should accurately and reliably capture data that is specific to ground support and handling.
Reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of GSE assets over their lifecycle is a common challenge faced by ground handlers and airlines. To do so, it requires accurate information about what it costs to acquire, maintain and operate such assets and an understanding of the constraints such as budget, resource availability, desired availability of GSE, etc. Additionally, the environment is dynamic, so both the inputs and constraints change over time. One may optimize labor, parts, etc. for a certain asset, but changing constraints such as labor availability or parameters such as parts pricing require constant re-optimization.
How is optimal asset management achieved in GSE?
Achieving optimal asset management is a journey that starts with identifying and tracking one's assets. Once a repository of assets is identified and can be updated over time, the objective may move to better understand the condition of these assets by accurately measuring various inputs such as usage, mean time between failure, labor costs, parts costs, productivity etc. After the right measures are accurately and reliably acquired, they can be transformed into specific metrics that become the dynamic parameters and constraints used to optimize functions such as Total Cost of Ownership, Fleet Size, Fleet Lifecycle, etc.
How are GSE EAM solutions selected?
A one-size-fit-all CMMS or EAM solution typically used for construction, transportation or facilities management domains aren’t typically sufficient to manage the nuances of maintaining GSE equipment in the context of airside operations. On the other hand, EBIS GSE EAM has been purpose-built for building world-class GSE maintenance organizations.
Selecting and implementing an EAM solution like EBIS is not the conclusion, but the genesis of a partnership that meets the customer where they are in their GSE Asset Management maturity. Combining the power of EAM with specific GSE domain expertise and Customer Success specialists can help operational leads make consistent and frequent progress towards their vision of building an optimal GSE Asset Management program.
For some GSE organizations, this may include creating an accurate and comprehensive repository of all their assets and initiating Preventative Maintenance procedures and schedules. Or it may be streamlining parts procurement with real time integrations and understanding part component usage with telemetry in order to optimize parts spend.
What ROI can GSE EAM solutions achieve?
While customers are at various levels of maturity in their Asset Management journeys, in almost all cases, the performance maturity can be different from location to location within the same organization. Therefore, the ROI of a GSE EAM is also a direct function of how much room for improvement a customer has. A holistic approach can yield these multiples, and in some cases beyond, as improvement in one area reinforces improvement in adjacent areas thus making the returns exponential.
For example, workforce productivity gains are often touted as a source of savings for almost every EAM solution when compared to more manual Work Order management processes. However, if one can adjust the PM schedules to match the asset and its usage, identify the most frequent failure modes or components and design them out during subsequent PMs, then workforce productivity gains are not just linear, but exponential. More scheduled PMs and better components could lead to fewer failures and thus resulting in less rework and unscheduled repairs.
For example, high ROI can be achieved through a combination of reducing inventory carrying costs, better warranty cost recovery, workforce productivity gains, and equipment failure reduction.
What are some advanced use cases or capabilities of EAM for GSE?
Many airliners today are using and exploring these capabilities to further improve metrics as described above:
- Use of telemetry data for setting accurate maintenance schedules or determining part component life. It can also help with making maintenance more contextual and granular. For example, data on driving behavior could not only help train employees, but also optimize PM schedules and Quality Checks for a particular piece of equipment. So instead of setting PM schedules across an entire location or a Quality Check for a type of equipment, we can prescribe these at an individual equipment level.
- Achieving real time data on costs and availability of parts via direct integrations with suppliers is possible to help streamline parts forecasting, costing and ordering.
- Visualizing asset performance data or pushing them real time to other dashboarding tools via APIs is becoming more critical.
- Use of predictive maintenance with AI, could for example, determine how often a piece of equipment or a part component fails by tracking usage hours between work orders, seasonality of failures, make/model of equipment, etc. However, if the way that usage was recorded is error prone, say via manual entry by a human, then the prediction can be highly inaccurate.
- Improved sensorization of GSE equipment, both via retrofits and new models entering the asset pool, combined with the asset maintenance and operational data from EAM systems, like EBIS, will allow for more accurate predictions that will make Predictive Maintenance useful and actionable.
Who should consider a GSE EAM?
Many commercial airlines and ground handlers continue to manage their expensive assets that are critical to their operations with spreadsheets or inadequately built homegrown solutions that can no longer handle the scale and complexity of their present day reality. Others may be using a one-size-fit-all CMMS or EAM solution.
The team at EBIS can help your organization uncover digital transformation opportunities across the GSE business. The Business Value Accelerator (BVA) for GSE is a structured visioning exercise on how we can potentially solve your needs and accelerate results through the use of an EAM designed specifically for GSE.