Willis Lease Case Study
Implemented AvSight: 2018
Previous Software: None
Willis Engine Repair Center is an engine focused MRO that is a subsidiary of Willis Lease. When Ron Roberts, VP of Engine Maintenance and Quality for Willis Lease, was given the assignment to open an engine repair center, he knew that implementing paperless processes was going to be key to their long term success. So he turned to his former colleague and AvSight founder, Scott Loescher, to develop solutions customized to meet his specific needs. Implementing AvSight has allowed them to work with unmatched efficiency and gain a competitive edge, while maintaining stringent security and compliance standards.
As an engine repair facility, Willis is subject to FAA and EASA regulation. This required them to go through a stringent certification process and involves regular inspections and audits. Being one of the first MROs to go entirely paperless, they were aprehensive about this process, but AvSight blew the inspectors away. Roberts shares the feedback he received from the inspection team – “Everyone has the idea of going paperless but it never works out. There’s always one piece that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. You say it’s going to work and it does – that’s a rarity.”.
AvSight’s paperless capabilities have also helped to streamline the audit process. Rather than having to physically dig through reams of paperwork looking for requested documents, Willis is able to quickly locate and send the documents digitally.
“Everyone has the idea of going paperless but it never works out… You say it’s going to work and it actually does – that’s a rarity”
Getting stakeholders on board with shop procedures invariably involves answering the question “How do you know that the person doing the work is qualified for that particular task?”. Willis has succeeded in answering this question using AvSight’s Mobile Mechanic module. This module allows mechanics to be assigned specific skill sets and only allows them to work on tasks for which they are qualified. “If a mechanic doesn’t have the skill set to perform a particular task, they won’t even see it.” shares Roberts. “And if they try to use someone else’s tablet, the pin-code requirement will prevent them from being able to open that task.”.
Willis also makes use of Mobile Mechanic for tracking the time spent on a work order and for tracking the tools used on a particular job. Roberts explains the importance of this ability: “If you’ve ever had a calibrated tool fall out of calibration, you know this is a huge deal. We can track the jobs a tool was used on without having to dig through paperwork.”.
The longer an engine is on the ground, the less profitable it is. This is a big deal to engine owners and it has a big impact on the facilities that work on them. With AvSight’s completely digital system, work packages are assembled automatically as you go through the work order process. This means that as soon as you complete work on an engine, the paperwork is ready to go and an 8130 can be issued.
To show what a game changer this is, Roberts explains what this process was like at his former shops. “A large package could take weeks or even months to put together. With the large volume of paperwork, there was always signature or a page missing. Quality assurance could be backed up for months, so it could be that long before your paperwork even began to be processed. Meanwhile, an engine could be ready to go but spend all that time waiting for paperwork.”
“Instead of going through a mountain of paperwork, quality assurance can be completed with just a few clicks”
Now instead of mountains of paperwork, quality assurance can be completed with just a few clicks. AvSight won’t allow a package to be closed with missing info, so you are immediately informed if something is missing. When asked if this process made a difference in their competitiveness, Roberts stated “Absolutely. Turn around time is a huge deal. We have customers choose us because of how quickly we can get them their engine and paperwork.
Due to the unique position of the aviation aftermarket sector, companies are accustomed to working with software that doesn’t exactly meet their needs. Coming up with modifications and workarounds is seen as par for the course. AvSight stands out in that it is designed specifically for aviation, and can be further configured and customized for each individual company. Willis took advantage of these capabilities to fit AvSight to their needs. As a result, they have a platform that perfectly suits their business processes.
“AvSight can be fully configured and customized to meet the unique needs of each individual company”
Other divisions of their parent company have been so impressed, that they are currently working to implement AvSight in two of their UK facilities. This has been made possible by AvSight’s development of multi-currency capabilities.
When asked what he would tell other companies about his AvSight experience, Roberts explains that he considers himself to be one of the biggest advocates of the platform, and regularly shares the benefits with colleagues. What sets AvSight apart in his opinion? “The employees of AvSight” says Roberts. “They have fantastic response time and actually listen to what you’re asking, which is really very unique. I know that if I ever have an issue, I can get through to someone and they will make it a top priority”.
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