Reshaping the relationships between commercial airframers and their suppliers is no easy task, especially at a time when the supply chain is under increasing constraint. Yet that’s exactly the ambitious goal that programmer and business owner Debbie Bahrani hopes to accomplish with the launch of AeroCompass.
Touted as the first project management communication and data integration software specifically built for the commercial aerospace industry, AeroCompass “is designed to not only create seamless communication between manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus and their suppliers, but to also internally integrate manufacturers’ data with the supplier’s departmental data such as program management, engineering, production and sales”, according to Bahrani, whose company, Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Tesken formally debuted the product today at the 3rd annual North Carolina Aerospace Suppliers Conference.
“Until today, there has never been a dedicated piece of software that automates the incorporation of aerospace customer updates and feedback into their daily project management. By supplementing existing embedded ERP [enterprise resources planning] and Project Management Enterprise systems, AeroCompass software ends the traditional stop-gap method of aerospace supplier companies manually integrating customer feedback and updates with their current internal data,” says Bahrani.
Among the features that personally caught my attention about AeroCompass is the fact that it claims to provide succinct information to satisfy FAA feedback requirements; for example, it handles the FAA’s new AC-21-49 requirements, which went into effect on 30 June.
Before AC-21-49 was issued, the IFE supplier worked with the OEM through seat certification. Now that process rolls under Technical Standard Order (TSO), which needs to be applied before the seats are shopped to the OEMs. This means that IFE manufacturers must provide seat makers with detailed information about their systems early in the development process, and requires both sides to work much more closely together.
“I used to work full-time for an aerospace company and consulted with many different ones in the last six years. I got wind of AC-21-49 in the third or fourth quarter of last year through Boeing and some of the other companies involved. Basically, some things had fallen through the cracks with respect to regulating IFE [integration into seats]. I had people come up to me and say, ‘These guys are going to be in a world of hurt when 30 June comes down the line’ and I thought, ‘My God, our product is going to solve that for them; we’re bringing it out at the perfect time’,” Bahrani tells the APEX editor’s blog.
She says AeroCompass, which can be accessed on an iPad or laptop, “fills all the gaps that regular program management software doesn’t fill”, whilst helping to increase production rates and save time and money. Hands-on training from Tesken is included with the purchase of AeroCompass software.
Bahrani’s vision “is to approach Boeing and Airbus” and show them that they can ease the constraints in their supply chains by fixing the communication with their suppliers. “All I’m reading over and over again is that there are mass issues right now with the supply chain with everyone trying to keep up. I really feel that AeroCompass can help immensely.”
See a video about AeroCompass below: