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Maintenance software fuels growth

23 September 2021

North Air has digitised its maintenance and engineering programme using ShireSystem, enhancing visibility and improving maintenance logistics across the Aviation fuelling specialist's 17 managed sites and mobile operation

EMBRACING NEW technology is part of North Air’s vision. The company uses ShireSystem combined maintenance (CMMS) and facilities (CAFM) software to ensure all the equipment it needs to run into-plane fuelling and engineering services are maintained to the highest industry and safety standards.

“We record all our breakdowns, servicing and maintenance activities in ShireSystem,” says Shell Guida, engineering and maintenance manager at North Air. “Every site across our business uses the software. We’ve created a standard set of maintenance plans that can be duplicated across sites, and then each team can also add their own tasks locally.”

Centralised engineering information allows North Air to share solutions and best practice across its entire company, to solve technical issues as quickly as possible.

“For example, if there’s been a breakdown on a truck in Manchester and the team there have never seen it before. We can go into ShireSystem and see if a similar problem has occurred at another site before,” Guida notes.

“We can see the full maintenance history for every piece of equipment in the business in one place. ShireSystem is a really great resource for firefighting problems. Can you imagine trying to compile that sort of information through a manual system?”

ShireSystem also allows North Air to stay up to date with regular maintenance requirements for its engineering equipment – flexibly managing upcoming checks and procedures.

For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, most airlines were running a reduced service, so the company parked up many of its vehicles. During this time, Guida’s team paused related maintenance checks in ShireSystem so they wouldn’t show as overdue, and then rebooted them to create a full compliance checklist before putting trucks back into service.

Less paperwork

As well as delivering strategic value, ShireSystem is helping North Air to build responsive relationships with its network of 250 staff, without creating a huge administrative workload.

Previously, most of the company’s managed sites were tracking work orders on a whiteboard, which wasn’t shared with head office personnel. Now, requirements are logged through ShireSystem’s Work Requester feature, which engineers can consult as they go.

“Our maintenance people want to be fixing stuff. They don’t want to be in front of the computer,” Guida recognises. “They find ShireSystem a really user-friendly piece of software; once they’ve cleaned up at the end of the day, they just set aside 15 minutes to close all their work orders, and everyone in the business can see exactly what’s been done.

“Making maintenance information more visible allows our engineers to work independently – we’ll only pick up the phone if we can see something is outstanding.”

In addition to keeping colleagues up to date with completed tasks, ShireSystem also helps North Air’s technicians to document their approach and methodology.

“Our most experienced engineers have a little black book of knowledge in their heads, but until we started using ShireSystem, that knowledge wasn’t recorded anywhere that others could access,” Guida explains. “These engineers may think about retiring in the next couple of years, so we’re building a catalogue of information that the future generation can use.”

Going mobile

Focusing on the future is critical to North Air’s success. The company recently won a large general aviation contract to carry out fuelling maintenance work at small airports, RAF bases and flight schools across the UK.

To support its engineers with servicing general aviation customers, North Air invested in ShireSystem’s Mobile Pro CAFM/CMMS app, which enables teams to manage and maintain assets and resources on the go.

“Our mobile engineers are travelling to different sites each day – sometimes two – and they don’t have time to file paperwork as they go,” Guida shares. “Previously, they may have only had one or two admin days each month, and they had to go back and complete every work order from the past two weeks.

“With Mobile Pro, our engineers can pick up their phone and provide feedback on tasks in real time. It cuts down the time they spend on admin.”