The major theme emerging from the aviation industry is a significant shortfall of licensed aviation maintenance technicians entering the workforce. While this is not limited to the technical side of aviation (the pilot workforce is also in serious decline), maintenance is our focus in this article.
Building new technicians is a long, tedious process; there are no ‘quick fixes' to the aviation tech crisis. Starting right now, if we could recruit enough technicians to earn certification, enter and remain in the industry, we are still looking at years before the workforce numbers are stable. Remember, it is 30 months minimum to become eligible to test, and then they must become competent mechanics familiar with their fleet. It is a long process. The best solution in the meantime is optimizing the existing workforce by deploying software solutions that enhance and promote talent efficiency.
What Is Talent Efficiency?
Talent efficiency is making better use of the workforce you already have. There are no magic solutions to the manpower problems in the aviation industry, and everyone is facing the same problems. Since it is highly unlikely that becoming a technician or pilot will become easier or a shorter path, we have to wade into this problem and create solutions by other means.
So, what are the other means of creating solutions when there is no surplus of manpower to tap into?
Making your current workforce a more efficient workforce, hence, talent efficiency. Thankfully, we have the tech available to create options where there were none, even a few years ago. For example, we can optimize our talent by creating the ability to be in more than one place at once.
For instance, an inspection authority might need to look over five or six different components during their shift. Each item is on a separate aircraft, spread out across the facility, maybe even at separate facilities.
But some visual inspections could be accomplished by images or video. AireXpert aims to solve that. We have a software solution that allows your team to accomplish more with human resources.
Is Talent Efficiency Related to Labor Shortages?
Talent efficiency is undoubtedly related to aviation maintenance technician crises. However, our talent efficiency solutions are evergreen; you will keep using them regardless of manpower strength because of the improvements you will see.
That said, a lack of efficiency exaggerates manpower issues. But it is more than just using your in-house talent more efficiently. Talent efficiency is also about choosing when you should consult external subject matter expertise and then making sure that you aren’t overpaying for their services when you’ve contracted an outside provider.
How Much Worse Will the Aviation Technician Shortage Get?
The same report by the Aviation Technician Education Council anticipates that the industry will still be short 12,000 licensed techs in 2041. Considering Boeing anticipates a North American demand of 134,000 technicians through 2041, this leaves the industry short by about nine percent. But, of course, these figures are subject to change.
Even a nine percent shortfall in technicians will significantly impact airlines' overall efficiency and ability to meet their demands.
How Does Talent Efficiency Work?
Talent efficiency harnesses the power of technology to empower your organization to meet the demands of a full flying schedule when your manpower situation is suboptimal.
Workforces have been hampered by slow and poor communication practices, particularly in the trades. Now, it catches up with them when no spare bodies are available. As a result, we are reaching a fever pitch where no talent can be wasted.
What does this mean?
Employees mired in paperwork and stuck in the loop of inefficient communication and record-keeping processes are talent inefficient; their talents are necessary elsewhere for vocational practice, but their talent is being squandered on poor processes.
Getting the Most Out of Your Team and Technical Resources
We can’t have anyone in more than one place at a time, but we can give them tools to help intellectually. So, for example, let’s say that your expert in 737-700 APUs is stationed in L.A., and you have an APU problem at your DFW hub.
Instead of flying your guru in from L.A., you can conference call them through the AireXpert app and walk your DFW team through the problem. Of course, your L.A. resource can do this from the comfort of his home if he wants.
But our program is more than this. You get to choose who is added to your account. You can add an engineering rep from GE, P&W, or Rolls-Royce if needed. Let’s say your A319 fleet has a problem with rudder control servos, and the engineer is in Paris. Again, don’t fly them in. Instead, add them to your team and cue them into the conversation across our app. Plus, there is the added reassurance that whatever the engineering team suggests is recorded for posterity.
Whatever your field team sees and shows the engineering team is precisely what is saved into cloud storage. It is exactly what maintenance control sees, and it is exactly what your executive leadership sees.
Not only does our platform create a more efficient workforce, but it also promotes a more transparent workflow and processes. In addition, it creates positive accountability because the evidence is there for all to see and share.
We cannot control what is happening to the technician workforce. But, we can control how they work. We can control how they communicate and we can provide digital solutions that allow your team to work together.
If you are ready to see how AireXpert will transform your workforce into the most efficient talent pool possible, schedule a demo today!